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lOOth Congress , 

2d Session ^ JOINT COMMITTEE PRINT 



COUNTRY REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS 
PRACTICES FOR 1987 



REPORT 

SUBMITTED TO THE 

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

AND THE 

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS 
U.S. SENATE 

BY THE 

DEPARTMENT OF STATE 

IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTIONS 116(d) AND 502B(b) OF THE 
FOREIGN ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1961, AS AMENDED 




FEBRUARY 1987 



Printed for the use of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Foreign 
Relations of the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively 

UMASS/AMHERST » C'^M IpHN 




880106 ^hAiiU3 88 



DEPOSn OKY COPY 



100th Congress , 

2d Session ' JOINT COMMITTEE PRINT 



COUNTRY REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS 
PRACTICES FOR 1987 



REPORT 

SUBMITTED TO THE 

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS 
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

AND THE 

COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS 
U.S. SENATE 

BY THE 

DEPARTMENT OF STATE 

IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTIONS 116(d) AND 502B(b) OF THE 
FOREIGN ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1961, AS AMENDED 




FEBRUARY 1987 



Printed for the use of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Foreign 
Relations of the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
80-779 WASHINGTON : 1988 



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office 
Washington, DC 20402 



COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS 
DANTE B. FASCELL, Florida, Chairman 



LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana 

GUS YATRON, Pennsylvania 

STEPHEN J. SOLARZ, New York 

DON BONKER, Washington 

GERRY E. STUDDS, Massachusetts 

DAN MICA, Florida 

HOWARD WOLPE, Michigan 

GEO. W. CROCKETT, Jr., Michigan 

SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut 

MERVYN M. DYMALLY, California 

TOM LANTOS, California 

PETER H. KOSTMAYER. Pennsylvania 

ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey 

LAWRENCE J. SMITH, Florida 

HOWARD L. BERMAN, California 

MEL LEVINE, California 

EDWARD F. FEIGHAN, Ohio 

TED WEISS, New York 

GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York 

MORRIS K. UDALL, Arizona 

CHESTER G. ATKINS, Massachusetts 

JAMES McCLURE CLARKE, North Carolina 

JAIME B. FUSTER, Puerto Rico 

JAMES H. BILBRAY, Nevada 

WAYNE OWENS, Utah 

FOFO I.F. SUNIA, American Samoa 



WILLIAM S. BROOMFIELD, Michigan 
BENJAMIN A. OILMAN, New York 
ROBERT J. LAGOMARSINO, California 
JIM LEACH, Iowa 
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin 
OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine 
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois 
GERALD B.H. SOLOMON, New York 
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska 
ROBERT K. DORNAN, California 
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey 
CONNIE MACK, Florida 
MICHAEL DeWINE, Ohio 
DAN BURTON, Indiana 
JAN MEYERS, Kansas 
JOHN MILLER, Washington 
DONALD E. "BUZ" LUKENS, Ohio 
BEN BLAZ, Guam 



John J. Brady, Jr., Chief of Staff 
Steven K. Berry, Minority Staff Director 



JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware 
PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland 
ALAN CRANSTON, California 
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut 
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts 
PAUL SIMON, Illinois 
TERRY SANFORD, North Carolina 
BROCK ADAMS, Washington 
DANIEL P. MOYNIHAN, New York 



COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS 

CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island, Chairman 



JESSE HELMS, North Carolina 
RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana 
NANCY L. KASSEBAUM, Kansas 
RUDY BOSCHWITZ, Minnesota 
LARRY PRESSLER, South Dakota 
FRANK H. MURKOWSKI, Alaska 
PAUL S. TRIBLE, Jr., Virginia 
DANIEL J. EVANS, Washington 
MITCH McCONNELL, Kentucky 



Geryld B. Christianson, Staff Director 
James P. Lucier, Minority Staff Director 



(II) 



FOREWORD 



The country reports on human rights practices contained herein 
were prepared by the Department of State in accordance with sec- 
tions 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as 
amended. They also fulfill the legislative requirements of section 
31 of the Bretton Woods Agreements Act and section 505(c) of the 
Trade Act of 1974, as amended. 

The reports cover the human rights practices of all nations that 
receive U.S. foreign assistance as well as those nations that do not 
but are members of the United Nations. They are printed to assist 
Members of Congress in the consideration of legislation. 

Dante B. Fascell, 
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs. 
Claiborne Pell, 
Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations. 

(Ill) 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 



Department of State, 
Washington, DC, January 29, 1988. 
Hon. Claiborne Pell, 

Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations, 
Hon. Jim Wright, 
Speaker, House of Representatives. 

Dear Sirs: I have the distinct honor to present the report pre- 
pared in compliance with sections 116(d)(1) and 502B(b) of the For- 
eign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and section 505(c) of the 
Trade Act of 1974, as amended. 
With best wishes, 
Sincerely, 

J. Edward Fox, 
Assistant Secretary Legislative Affairs. 
Enclosure. 

(V) 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Foreword iii 

Letter of Transmittal v 

Introduction 1 

Africa: 

Angola 6 

Benin 13 

Botswana 18 

Burkina Faso 24 

Burundi 30 

Cameroon 38 

Cape Verde 45 

Central African Republic 51 

Chad 57 

Comoros 64 

Congo 69 

Cote d Ivoire 76 

Djibouti 83 

Equatorial Guinea 90 

Ethiopia 96 

Gabon 107 

Gambia, The 113 

Ghana 119 

Guinea 126 

Guinea-Bissau 131 

Kenya 136 

Lesotho 146 

Liberia 153 

Madagascar 163 

Malawi 169 

Mali 176 

Mauritania 182 

Mauritius 190 

Mozambique 195 

Namibia 205 

Niger 215 

Nigeria 221 

Rwanda 233 

Sao Tome and Principe 240 

Senegal 244 

Seychelles 251 

Sierra Leone 257 

Somalia 263 

South Africa 270 

Sudan 293 

Swaziland 304 

Tanzania 312 

Togo 322 

Uganda 330 

Zaire 339 

Zambia 349 

Zimbabwe 356 

Central and South Africa: 

Antigua and Barbuda 367 

(VII) 



VIII 

Page 

Central and South Africa — Continued 

Argentina 371 

Bahamas 378 

Barbados 382 

Belize 386 

Bolivia 391 

Brazil 398 

Chile 407 

Colombia 426 

Costa Rica 436 

Cuba 441 

Dominica 454 

Dominican Republic 458 

Ecuador 465 

El Salvador 474 

Grenada 489 

Guatemala 494 

Guyana 503 

Haiti 510 

Honduras 521 

Jamaica 532 

Mexico 540 

Nicaragua 548 

Panama 563 

Paraguay 574 

Peru 586 

St. Christopher and Nevis 598 

St. Lucia 601 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines 604 

Suriname 607 

Trinidad and Tobago 616 

Uruguay 622 

Venezuela 627 

East Asia and the Pacific: 

Australia 632 

Brunei 635 

Burma 640 

Cambodia 649 

China 660 

China (Taiwan only) 680 

Fiji 694 

Indonesia 701 

Japan 712 

Kiribati 718 

Korea, Democratic People's Republic of 721 

Korea, Republic of 728 

Laos 743 

Malaysia 751 

Marshall Islands 760 

Micronesia, Federated States of 763 

Mongolia 766 

Nauru 770 

New Zealand 774 

Papua New Guinea 777 

Philippines 782 

Singapore 787 

Solomon Islands 807 

Thailand 810 

Tonga 822 

Vanuatu 825 

Vietnam 828 

Western Samoa 838 

Europe and North America: 

Albania 842 

Austria 849 

Belgium 854 

Bulgaria 860 

Canada 871 



IX 

Page 

Europe and North America — Continued 

Cyprus 875 

Czechoslovakia 881 

Denmark 893 

Estonia 897 

Finland 902 

France 908 

German Democratic Republic 913 

Germany, Federal Republic of 922 

Greece 927 

Hungary 935 

Iceland 944 

Ireland 948 

Italy 953 

Latvia 958 

Lithuania 963 

Luxembourg 968 

Malta 972 

Netherlands, The 978 

Norvi^ay 983 

Poland 988 

Portugal 1000 

Romania 1006 

Spain 1019 

Sweden 1023 

Switzerland 1028 

Turkey 1032 

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 1045 

United Kingdom 1069 

Yugoslavia 1079 

Near East, North Africa, and South Asia: 

Afghanistan 1090 

Algeria 1099 

Bahrain 1108 

Bangladesh 1114 

Bhutan 1126 

Egypt 1131 

India 1148 

Iran 1159 

Iraq 1170 

Israel and the occupied territories 1180 

Jordan 1200 

Kuwait 1209 

Lebanon 1222 

Libya 1231 

Maldives 1238 

Morocco 1244 

The Western Sahara 1255 

Nepal 1257 

Oman 1264 

Pakistan 1270 

Qatar 1285 

Saudi Arabia 1290 

Sri Lanka 1300 

Syria 1313 

Tunisia 1322 

United Arab Emirates 1331 

Yemen Arab Republic 1336 

Yemen, People's Democratic Republic of. 1343 

Appendixes: 

A. Notes on preparation of the reports 1347 

B. Reporting on worker rights 1350 

C. Selected international human rights agreements 1352 



COUNTRY REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS 
PRACTICE S 

INTRODUCTION 

1987 Human Rights Report 

This report is submitted to the Congress by the Department of 
State in compliance with Sections 116(d)(1) and 502B(b) of the 
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended.* The legislation 
requires human rights reports on all countries that receive aid 
from the United States and all countries that are members of 
the United Nations. In the belief that the information would 
be useful to the Congress and other readers, we have also 
included reports on countries which do not fall into either of 
these categories and which are thus not covered by the 
Congressional requirement. 

Congress amended the Foreign Assistance Act with the foregoing 
sections of law so as to be able to consult these reports when 
considering assistance programs for specific foreign countries. 
One of the very important consequences--perhaps unintended--of 
these legislative provisions is that they have made human 
rights concerns an integral part of the State Department's 
daily reporting and daily decisionmaking. A human rights 
officer in an Embassy overseas who wants to write a good 
annual human rights report on the country in which he or she 
works must carefully monitor and observe human rights 
developments throughout the year on a daily basis. As a 
consequence he or she will report on such developments whenever 
something of human rights significance happens in the country 
of assignment. In the past 11 years, the State Department has 
become decidedly better informed on and sensitized to human 
rights violations as they occur around the globe. 



•Section 116(d)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act provides as 
follows : 

"The Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the 

House of Representatives and the Corrimittee on Foreign Relations 

of the Senate, by January 31 of each year, a full and complete 
report regarding -- 

"(1) the status of internationally recognized human 
rights, within the meaning of subsection (a) -- 

(A) in countries that received assistance under this 
part, and 

(B) in all other foreign countries which are members of 
the United Nations and which are not otherwise the subject of 
a human rights report under this Act." 

Section 502(B) (b) of the Foreign Assistance Act provides as 
follows : 

"The Secretary of State shall transmit to Congress, as part of 
the presentation materials for security assistance programs 
proposed for each fiscal year, a full and complete report, 
prepared with the assistance of the Assistant Secretary of 
State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, with respect 
to practices regarding the observance of and respect for 
internationally recognized human rights in each country 
proposed as a recipient of security assistance." 

(1) 



As we look back at human rights developments worldwide during 
the year 1987, there is no doubt that the attention of a great 
many observers focused on developments in the Soviet Union. 
Was Mikhail S. Gorbachev, in this third year of his 
stewardship of the world's first Leninist dictatorship, 
bringing about fundamental change, or were the changes merely 
cosmetic? The answer to this question, asked by so many 
observers, is that neither adjective fits. The changes were 
more than cosmetic and less than fundamental. The Soviet 
dictatorship, concentrated in a small elite group and 
operating through a single recognized party, remained in 
place. The secret police and its comprehensive network of 
informants remained the principal pillar on which the state 
edifice rests. A majority of political prisoners remained in 
jail. But, as our report on the U.S.S.R. points out, there 
was some relaxation of totalitarian controls. Some political 
prisoners were released. The Soviets announced moves to end 
the truly barbarous practice of abuse of psychiatry. 
Emigration levels for ethnic Germans, Armenians, and Jews were 
higher than those of recent years, although totals for Soviet 
Jews fell far short of those of the 1970's. Plays and films 
could be seen that dealt with the realities of Soviet life 
more honestly than had been allowed in a long time. On the 
other hand, we regret to say, the hopes and expectations 
voiced in the spring of 1987 as to rapid additional progress 
were not fulfilled by the end of the year. We need to see 
what 1988 will bring. 

Poland and Hungary continue as the two countries in the Warsaw 
Pact most tolerant of the expression of internal dissent. In 
fact, Poland completed a full calendar year, for the first 
time in a long time, without a single person convicted and 
incarcerated for the mere expression of dissenting political 
views. It surely does not mean that political freedom has 
come to Poland, but it is progress of a sort. 

Elsewhere in the world, we note with satisfaction the holding 
of free elections in the Republic of Korea and the further 
relaxation of controls in Taiwan. On the other hand, hopes 
for the establishment of democracy in Haiti were seriously set 
back, and there was no progress toward respect for human 
rights in South Africa. 

Free elections and a democratic system are essential, but not 
sufficient, elements of a society which respects human 
rights. The mere fact that democracy has been established is 
no guarantee that human rights will be fully respected in such 
a democratic country. As these reports demonstrate, effective 
law enforcement, including the operation of an independent, 
effective, and efficient judiciary, is needed if the rights of 
the individual are to be protected against all forms of 
encroachment. We note with regret that, in a number of Latin 
American democracies, the law enforcement system lags 
significantly behind other institutions of government in 
safeguarding human rights and due process. 

This year there are 169 separate reports. Conditions in most 
countries are described to the end of 1987; for a few 
countries, significant developments occurring during the first 
weeks of 1988 are also included. The guidelines followed in 
preparing the reports are explained in detail in Appendix A. 
In Appendix B is a discussion of reporting on worker rights. 
Appendix C contains a list of 12 international human rights 
covenants and agreements. 



The reports also include additional information on worker 
rights, as required by Section 505(c) of the Trade Act of 1974, 
as amended by Title V of the Trade and Tariff Act of 1984 
(Generalized System of Preferences Renewal Act of 1984).* 
Although the legislation requires reports on worker rights only 
in developing countries that have been beneficiaries under the 
Generalized System of Preferences, in the interest of 
uniformity, and to provide a ready basis for comparison, we 
have here applied the same reporting standards that we have 
applied to all countries on which we prepare reports. 

Definition of Human Rights 

Human rights, as defined in Section 116(a) of the Foreign 
Assistance Act, include freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman 
or degrading treatment or punishment; prolonged detention 
without charges; disappearance due to abduction or clandestine 
detention; and other flagrant denial of the rights to life, 
liberty, and the security of the person. Internationally 
recognized worker rights, as defined in Section 502(a) of the 
Trade Act, include (A) the right of association; (B) the right 
to organize and bargain collectively; (C) prohibition on the 
use of any form of forced or compulsory labor; (D) a minimum 
age for the employment of children; and (E) acceptable 
conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of 
work, and occupational safety and health. (Categories A and B 
are covered in Section 2.b. of each report, C in Section l.d., 
and D and E in a final section. Conditions of Labor.) 

In addition to discussing the topics specified in the 
legislation, our reports, as in previous years, cover other 
internationally recognized political and civil rights and 
describe the political system of each country. We have altered 
our previous discussion of the economic, social, and cultural 
situation by focusing on the issue of discrimination in these 
fields . 

In applying these internationally recognized standards, we 
seek to be objective. But the reports unashamedly reflect the 
U.S. view that the right of self-government is a basic 
political right, that government is legitimate only when 
grounded on the consent of the governed, and that government 
thus grounded should not be used to deny life, liberty, and 
the pursuit of happiness. Individuals in a society have the 
inalienable right to be free from governmental violations of 
the integrity of the person; to enjoy civil liberties such as 
freedom of expression, assembly, religion, and movement, 
without discrimination based on race, ancestry, or sex; and to 
change their government by peaceful means. The reports also 
take into account the fact that terrorists and guerrilla 
groups often kill, torture, or maim citizens or deprive them 
of their liberties; such violations are no less reprehensible 
if committed by violent opponents of the government than if 
committed by the government itself. 

We have found that the concept of economic, social, and 
cultural rights is often confused, sometimes willfully, by 



*Section 505(c) of the Trade Act provides as follows: 

"The President shall submit an annual report to the 
Congress on the status of internationally recognized 
worker rights within each beneficiary developing country. 



repressive governments claiming that in order to promote 
these" rights" they may deny their citizens the right to 
integrity of the person as well as political and civil 
rights. There exists a profound connection between human 
rights and economic development. Experience demonstrates that 
it is individual freedom that sets the stage for economic and 
social development; it is repression that stifles it. Those 
who try to justify subordinating political and civil rights on 
the ground that they are concentrating on economic aspirations 
invariably deliver on neither. That is why we consider it 
imperative to focus urgent attention on violations of basic 
political and civil rights, a position given renewed emphasis 
by the 1984 Congressional Joint Resolution on Torture. If 
these basic rights are not secured, experience has shown, the 
goals of economic development are not reached either. 

United States Human Rights Policy 

From this premise, that basic human rights may not be abridged 
or denied, it follows that our human rights policy is concerned 
with the limitations on the powers of government that are 
required to protect the integrity and dignity of the 
individual. Further, it is in our national interest to promote 
democratic processes in order to help build a world environment 
more favorable to respect for human rights and hence more 
conducive to stability and peace. We have developed, 
therefore, a dual policy, reactive in the sense that we 
continue to oppose specific human rights violations wherever 
they occur, but at the same time active in working over the 
long term to strengthen democracy. 

In much of the world, the United States has a variety of means 
at its disposal to respond to human rights violations. We 
engage in traditional diplomacy, particularly with friendly 
governments, where frank diplomatic exchanges are possible and 
productive. Where we find limited opportunities for the United 
States to exert significant influence through bilateral 
relations, we resort to public statements of our concerns, 
calling attention to countries where respect for human rights 
is lacking. In a number of instances, we employ a mixture of 
traditional diplomacy and public affirmation of American 
interest in the issue. 

The United States also employs a variety of means to encourage 
greater respect for human rights over the long term. Since 
1983 the National Endowment for Democracy has been carrying 
out programs designed to promote democratic practices abroad, 
involving the two major United States political parties, labor 
unions, business groups, and many private institutions. Also, 
through Section 116(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act, funds 
are disbursed by the Agency for International Development for 
programs designed to promote civil and political rights abroad. 
We also seek greater international commitment to the protection 
of human rights and respect for democracy through our efforts 
in the United Nations and other international organizations. 

Preparation of these annual reports constitutes an important 
element of our human rights policy. The process, since it 
involves continuous and well-publicized attention to human 
rights, has contributed to the strengthening of an 
international human rights agenda. Many countries that are 
strong supporters of human rights are taking steps of their 
own to engage in human rights reporting and have established 
offices specifically responsible for international human 



rights policy. Even among countries without strong human 
rights records, sensitivity to these reports increasingly 
takes the form of constructive response, or at least a 
willingness to engage in a discussion of human rights policy. 
In calling upon the Department of State to prepare these 
reports. Congress has created an increasingly useful 
instrument for advancing the cause of human rights. 



Richard Schifter 
Assistant Secretary of State 
for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs 



AFRICA 

ANGOLA* 



The People's Republic of Angola, the regime established in 
Luanda upon the withdrawal of the Portuguese in 1975, is ruled 
by the only legal political party, the Marxist-Leninist 
Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) . 
President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is both Head of State and 
chief of the MPLA. His rule was reconfirmed by the MPLA's 
Second Party Congress in December 1985. All major policy 
decisions are made by a small elite in the MPLA, which also 
controls all means of mass communication. Open political 
dissension is not tolerated. Now in its 12th year, the 
internal conflict between the Government and the main 
opposition force, the National Union for the Total 
Independence of Angola (UNITA) , again dominated events in 1987. 

The Angolan armed forces (FAPLA) total approximately 100,000. 
FAPLA is backed by a lightly armed Peoples' Milita, which is 
used only for defensive duties within their localities. 
UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi, is estimated to have a regular 
force of about 30,000, as well as a comparable number of 
irregular troops. It has the allegiance of a substantial 
portion of the population, especially among Angola's largest 
ethnic group the Ovimbundu. UNITA controls the southeastern 
quarter of Angola's territory. The Angolan Government receives 
extensive military assistance from the Soviet Union--well over 
$4 billion since 1975 and $1 billion in the last year alone-- 
and in 1987 an estimated 1,500 Soviet and East German advisers 
continued to play an important role in planning and directing 
military operations. An estimated 40,000 Cuban military 
personnel, a number which increased during 1987, provide 
logistical support, training, and advice to government forces 
as well as garrison key strategic population and economic 
centers. UNITA has stated it favors a government of national 
unity and has not sought to establish an alternate government. 
The Government for its part repeatedly has stated that it will 
not negotiate with UNITA, although it has offered amnesty to 
UNITA rebels who lay down their arms. The United States 
supports UNITA in the Angolan conflict and has provided its 
forces with appropriate assistance. 

The fighting has devastated the country's infrastructure, 
forced a return to barter in some areas, and has led the 
Government to divert much of its assets to the military, 
including payments to the Soviet Bloc for military equipment 
and Cuban combat troops. Although foreign exchange earnings 
from Angola's oil exports increased in 1987 (to $1.8 billion), 
the continued reduction of commercial food imports, and the 
impact of war on the productivity and distribution networks of 
Angolan agriculture are reportedly creating a serious food 
emergency in both the cities and the countryside. At the end 
of 1987, efforts were underway by international relief 
agencies and donor governments to assist in preventing 
famine. The Government, in response to the generally critical 
situation, announced on August 17 its intention to institute 
economic reforms, but had not done so by the end of 1987. The 
Government also has applied for admission to the International 
Monetary Fund. 



*The United States does not maintain diplomatic relations with 
the People's Republic of Angola and thus has no diplomatic 
personnel there able to monitor human rights conditions or 
evaluate allegations of abuses. 



ANGOLA 

In 1987 human rights abuses continued as the fighting increased 
in intensity. In November UNITA forces finally stopped a major 
government campaign leaving many hundreds of casualties. Each 
side accused the other of killing civilians and committing 
atrocities. Some recent estimates indicate that about 700,000 
of the 8 to 9 million population have been displaced 
internally, in addition to some 400,000 refugees resident in 
neighboring countries. South Africa announced in November 
that it had given military support to UNITA during the fall 
campaign. A number of deaths also occurred inside Angola in 
the course of hostilities between the Southwest Africa People's 
Organization (SWAPO--a Namibian resistance movement with bases 
in Angola) and South Africa, which controls the territory of 
Namibia on Angola's southern border. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

Reports of unconfirmed political killings on the part of the 
Government and UNITA, both within the combat areas and in the 
form of summary executions of prisoners, persisted in 1987 
(see Section l.g.). A number of members of a religious sect 
were killed by security forces in Luanda in February (see 
Section 2 .c. ) . 

b. Disappearance 

There is no information to confirm that secret arrests or 
clandestine detentions are practiced by government security 
agencies or by UNITA, although each side has accused the other 
of such practices. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Allegations of torture and mistreatment made by both sides 
appear to have some basis in fact, but torture of opponents 
does not appear to be a systematic practice of either the 
Government or UNITA. 

Angolan prison conditions are poor, with substandard diet and 
sanitation. There are some unconfirmed reports that foreigners 
are not well treated, but Americans who have been imprisoned 
in Angola appear to have been treated adeguately and to have 
had access to medical care. 

Prison authorities reportedly have wide latitude in the 
treatment of prisoners. Treatment of political prisoners at 
the prisons controlled by the Ministry of State Security 
appears to be harsher than treatment in the regular prisons. 
Mistreatment includes beatings, threats, and prolonged 
interrogation with the use of force. Amnesty International's 
1987 Report stated that the most commonly reported form of 
torture involved severe and repeated beatings. Prison visits 
appear to be arbitrarily restricted in many instances. 
Foreign advisers, including Cubans and East Germans, are 
assisting Angolan state security services and may help in 
operating state security prisons. The Government continues to 
put captured UNITA supporters on public display. 



ANGOLA 

Very limited information is available on the situation and 
administrative structure within UNITA-held areas. It is 
known, however, that UNITA captures foreign and government 
prisoners in the course of military operations and holds them 
in makeshift facilities in its areas of control in southeastern 
Angola. In September 1987, UNITA took three Swedish aid 
workers prisoner during an assault on a military convoy. One 
of them was wounded during the attack and subsequently died; 
the two remaining prisoners were released in December. 
Following their release, the two told reporters they were not 
mistreated but that the third prisoner might have survived had 
he been given adequate medical care. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Two of the most frequently reported charges of human rights 
violations have been arbitrary arrest and imprisonment without 
due process. Numerous reports allege that persons are 
arrested and imprisoned by the Government on suspicion or 
denunciation by others and, in some cases, held for years 
without being notified of the charges against them. In its 
1987 Report, Amnesty International stated that there continue 
to be few safeguards against the arrest and detention of 
political suspects by Government security services. 

Under Angolan law, persons suspected of committing serious 
acts against the security of the State may be held by the 
Ministry of State Security without charge for an initial 
period of 3 months, renewable for a further period of 3 
months. Such detainees need not be presented to a judge 
within 48 hours of their arrest, as stipulated in the code of 
criminal procedure for persons suspected of other kinds of 
crime, and apparently have no right to challenge the grounds 
of their detention. After 6 months in detention without 
charge, the detainee must be informed of the accusations, with 
the state security service either informing the public 
prosecutor of the charges or releasing the suspect. Once the 
case is presented to the public prosecutor, there does not 
appear to be a specific time limit within which a suspect must 
be brought to trial, and many political detainees--the exact 
number is not known but may be several hundred--have been held 
for years without being tried. 

The deterioration of the security situation has exacerbated 
the general decline in judicial safeguards and due process. 
The Government has established regional military councils 
throughout much of Angola. They are responsible directly to 
President Dos Santos and have broad authority to restrict the 
movement of people and goods, to requisition people and goods 
without compensation, and to try crimes against the security 
of the State. The Government has also created "people's 
vigilance brigades" for urban areas, whose powers are not 
clear but include general administration and "protecting the 
people and ensuring public order and stability." 

The most important person to accept the Government's offer of 
amnesty was Daniel Chipenda, who had seriously challenged the 
late President Neto for leadership of the MPLA in 1974. 

During 1987 both sides accused each other of relying on forced 
conscription of young males for recruitment into the military 
forces. In 1984 the Angolan Government was cited by the 
International Labor Organization (ILO) for being in violation 
of ILO Convention 105, which prohibits forced labor. The 



ANGOLA 

basis of this citation is Angolan legislation providing for 
compulsory labor for breaches of labor discipline and 
participation in strikes. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The Constitution states that no citizen shall be arrested and 
brought to trial except under the terms of the law, and it 
provides for the right of the accused to a defense. There is, 
however, insufficient evidence to determine to what extent 
these rights are observed in practice. In its 1987 Report, 
Amnesty International expressed concern that trials of 
government opponents, notably in military tribunals, do not 
conform to internationally recognized trial standards. In 
particular, defendants reportedly were not given adequate 
opportunity to present their defense or appeal their cases. 
Judicial lines of authority are unclear, especially since the 
regional military councils have been given responsibility for 
the trial of offenses against the security of the State, 
including "economic crimes." It is not known which trials are 
open to the public and under what rules of procedure the 
various military and civilian courts operate. The Constitution 
provides for a People's Supreme Court, but its jurisdiction is 
not known. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Although the Constitution provides for the inviolability of 
the home and privacy of correspondence, the Government 
conducts arbitrary searches of homes, censors private 
correspondence, and monitors private communications. 

g. Violations of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts 

The civil war reached a new level of intensity in 1987, with 
modern weaponry in use by both sides. The escalation of the 
war resulted in numerous allegations that government, UNITA, 
and South African forces killed civilians and that the MPLA 
and UNITA executed political prisoners. While it is difficult 
to substantiate the various claims and counterclaims, 
available evidence suggests that both government and UNITA 
forces have on occasion arbitrarily executed prisoners. The 
fighting also probably resulted in hundreds of civilian 
deaths. While some of these deaths were inadvertently caused 
by military operations, others appear to have been deliberately 
perpetrated by opposing forces to intimidate civilian 
populations. The MPLA and UNITA have publicly and repeatedly 
accused each other of practicing terrorism against their 
respective opponents, including killing or maiming civilians. 
UNITA has additionally charged that Cuban forces have been 
involved in attacks on civilians. Civilians also have died as 
a result of guerrilla actions, such as attacks on ground 
transportation and other economic targets. There are no 
reliable casualty figures, but the international press focused 
on the large number of civilian casualties due to the extensive 
use of landmines. Upwards of 10,000 persons may have lost 
limbs as a result of the widespread use of landmines. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Constitution provides for freedom of expression "in the 
context of the achievement of the basic objectives of the 



10 



ANGOLA 

People's Republic of Angola." In fact, the Angolan people 
live under censorship, intimidation, and Government control of 
the media. Opposition views are not tolerated, and critics 
such as Bartolomeu Dias Fernandes, who was accused of 
"insulting the Head of State," have been sentenced to long 
prison terms. 

The Government is especially sensitive to criticism in the 
foreign press. But in 1986 the Government began to allow the 
travel of foreign correspondents to Angola in a controlled 
flow, a practice that was continued in 1987. Angola subscribes 
to the "Front Line" states' ban on visits by South Africa-based 
news correspondents. The circulation of Western journals and 
periodicals in Angola is tightly restricted. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Freedom of assembly is denied to any political group or 
movement other than the MPLA. All other political movements 
have been banned. There are numerous unconfirmed reports of 
arrests of people who voice support of opposition movements or 
alternative political systems. The people's vigilance 
brigades, which have some law enforcement authority in urban 
areas, and the martial law climate throughout the country tend 
further to restrict freedom of assembly and association. 

The only trade union movement in Angola is the National Union 
of Angolan Workers, which is controlled by the MPLA and is a 
member of the continent-wide Organization of African Trade 
Union Unity. Traditional labor union activities are tightly 
controlled by the Government, and legislation ensures only a 
single trade union structure. Strikes are prohibited by law 
as a crime against the security of the State. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Although the Constitution provides for the inviolability of 
freedom of conscience and belief and for separation of church 
and state, the Government publicly emphasizes the importance 
of propagating atheism and has been critical of religious 
activities. The overwhelming majority of the Angolan 
population is Christian, however, and the Government has not 
moved to close down officially recognized churches. Church 
services are held regularly, and there is widespread 
attendance. Foreign and Angolan missionaries are allowed to 
carry out their normal activities. Reportedly, UNITA respects 
freedom of religion in the areas it controls. In the past, 
UNITA several times captured foreign missionaries, releasing 
them unharmed after publicly warning them of the dangers of 
being caught in the combat zone. 

The Government refuses to recognize smaller religious sects 
that it deems subversive. In February 1987, for reasons that 
are unclear, Angolan security forces in Luanda killed a number 
of members of a subsect of the Tocoist Church called the 18 
Classes and 16 Tribes. The Tocoist Church, founded in Africa 
in 1949, is a syncretic blend of Christian beliefs and 
indigenous religious practices. The Government banned the 
Church in 1977. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

As a result of the increased fighting, the Government is 
acutely sensitive about security and has tightly 



11 



ANGOLA 

restricted travel. Travel by road in most areas of Angola is 
dangerous. The Government has instituted a pass system within 
Angola, and foreigners are generally prohibited from traveling 
outside the principal cities. UNITA has publicly warned that 
it considers all of Angola to be a war zone and that it cannot 
guarantee the safety of persons traveling there. 

Angolan citizens are allowed to travel abroad, but this travel 
is carefully controlled by restrictions on issuance of 
passports and exit visas and by currency restrictions. 
Emigration is restricted. The Government limits travel to 
Angola through a selective and stringent visa policy. 

Angola is a party to the U.N. Protocol Relating to the Status 
of Refugees. There are currently approximately 70,000 
Namibian, 13,000 Zairian, and 10,000 South African refugees or 
displaced persons in Angola. Since mid-1980, between 120,000 
and 140,000 former Zairian displaced persons in Angola returned 
home under the auspices of the U.N. High Commissioner for 
Refugees . 

Approximately 300,000 Angolans are still refugees in Zaire, 
and an estimated 94,000 are in Zambia. The Government claims 
that 180,000 exiles have returned to Angola over the years, 
but this claim cannot be verified. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Citizens do not have the right to change the Government. 
Angola is ruled by a small group of officials within the party 
apparatus of the ruling MPLA. The Constitution provides for 
popular participation in the political process, but political 
activity is limited to participation in the MPLA or in one of 
its controlled and sanctioned organizations such as its youth 
wing, the Angolan Women's Organization, or the trade union 
movement. Political power is centered in the elite membership 
of the Politburo and the somewhat larger Central Committee. 
Party membership is very restricted, with fewer than 30,000 
members out of a population of 8 to 9 million, according to 
the official media. 

The Constitution provides for a popularly elected National 
People's Assembly, established in 1981, and people's 
assemblies at the provincial and local level. However, 
despite recent suggestions from President Dos Santos that the 
powers and membership of the National People's Assembly be 
broadened, as of the end of 1987 only candidates chosen and 
endorsed by the party have been elected. Key members of the 
party also hold leadership positions in the people's 
assemblies . 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government has allowed the International Committee of the 
Red Cross (ICRC) and United Nations International Children's 
Emergency Fund to provide food and medical assistance in areas 
it controls, and UNITA allows the ICRC to conduct similar 
operations in areas it controls or is contesting. The 
Government has not responded to ICRC requests for access to 
all persons arrested in connection with internal events and 
the military situation in the country. 



12 



ANGOLA 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Because of the disturbed situation prevailing in most of 
Angola, there is little information available on the existence 
or extent of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, 
religion, language, or social status. 

Both the MPLA and UNITA have primarily ethnic bases of 
support--the MPLA among Kimbundu speakers, and UNITA among the 
Ovimbundu. Members of all of Angola's ethnic groups and 
religions, as well as women, participate in both organizations, 
some at high levels of the party. However, non-Kimbundu groups 
are greatly under represented in the small group within the 
ruling MPLA Central Committee and Politburo. Mesticos 
(Angolans of mixed racial background numbering only about 1 
percent of the population) remain the most highly skilled and 
educated group in Angola and are inf luential--politically, 
culturally, and economically--beyond their numbers. Women and 
blacks were given more positions in the top leadership by the 
1985 Second Party Congress. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

There is no information available on working conditions in 
Angola . 



13 



BENIN 



Following its independence from France in 1960, Benin 
experienced a prolonged period of political experimentation 
and instability, punctuated by frequent coups d'etat. In 1972 
the army staged a decisive coup that brought to power the 
present Government, headed by President Mathieu Kerekou. In 
1974 the Government, influenced by leftists, declared Benin to 
be a Marxist-Leninist state under the direction of a single 
political party, the Party of the People's Revolution of Benin. 
Although Benin's Government has some of the institutional 
trappings of other Marxist states, Benin's Marxism has had a 
rather superficial effect on Beninese society. Farming and 
commerce, the two most important sectors of the economy, have 
remained firmly in private hands. The party itself is directed 
by a small leadership group in which the influence of the 
military remains important. The party controls the selection 
of candidates for the National Assembly and local government 
bodies. The military hold 5 out of 14 cabinet positions. 

Early efforts at radical political and social transformation 
in the mid-1970 's encountered widespread resistance and 
resulted in significant erosions of political and personal 
liberties. An unsuccessful coup attempt in 1977 was followed 
by a period of intense suspicion of foreigners and domestic 
critics. In recent years, however, the authorities have 
exhibited greater tolerance of divergent social and political 
views . 

Benin is ranked as one of the world's 35 poorest countries; 
its underdeveloped economy is largely supported by subsistence 
agriculture (80 percent of the population lives in rural 
areas), regional trade, and a low level of offshore oil 
production. Economic activity has been hampered by the 
Government's efforts to institute centralized controls. In 
1985 mounting balance of payments problems and rising debt 
service costs led the Government to enter into negotiations 
with the International Monetary Fund to reduce the number of 
state enterprises and to encourage foreign private investment. 

The human rights situation remained unchanged in 1987. There 
were few incidents that might have caused the Government to 
use repressive measures. As in 1985 and 1986, there was some 
student unrest; in 1987 a small number of students were 
arrested for demonstrating against the late payment of 
scholarships . 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of political killings. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of disappearance or secret arrests. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

In its 1987 report. Amnesty International noted that in 1986 
it had received reports of torture and other ill-treatment of 
political prisoners, including beatings, whippings, and 



14 



BENIN 

"barrel torture" (the victim is rolled around inside a barrel 
containing broken glass and stones). 

Prison conditions in Benin are very poor. Sanitation 
facilities are deficient, and prisoner food is inadequate 
unless supplemented by food from friends or relatives. 
Physical punishment reportedly occurs. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Benin's legal system provides for the review of detentions by 
a court of law in all but a few sensitive political cases. 
The Constitution states that no citizen may be arrested 
without an order of arrest by an established judicial body. 
In practice, however, persons have been detained, some for 
extended periods, without charge and without recourse to legal 
assistance or judicial hearing. For example, the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science has reported that a 
Beninese physician, Afolabi Biaou, was arrested in November 
1984 and has been detained without charge since that time. 
Biaou was previously involved with the "Support Committee for 
Former Political Prisoners" in Benin and was allegedly arrested 
en route to the presidential palace where he had been summoned 
for a meeting. 

Most political arrests have occurred during periods of 
political tension. Lengths of incarceration before trial are 
at the discretion of the authorities. Although arrests are 
not publicized, no special attempt is made to keep them 
secret. According to Amnesty International, political 
detainees and prisoners have been interrogated by the National 
Commission of Inquiry on State Security, headed by a senior 
military officer, apparently to determine the extent of the 
detainee's ties to opposition groups. The Commission 
reportedly has had the power to recommend to the President the 
continued detention or release of suspects. 

Prior to his departure in October 1986 to meet with Western 
European leaders. President Kerekou ordered the release of 
about 50 prisoners held since 1985 for having participated in 
strikes. Amnesty International stated in its 1987 report that 
there were at least 88 political prisoners being held without 
trial in Benin at the end of 1986. Apparently most of those 
detainees were either suspected of involvement in the student 
unrest of 1985 or were accused of supporting the banned 
Dahomey Communist Party. 

Student unrest continued in 1987, mainly over the late payment 
of scholarships. The Government arrested a small number of 
student leaders but released them by the end of 1987. 

There were no reports alleging the use of forced labor, which 
is prohibited under Beninese law. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Benin's judicial system is allowed to function independently 
in all but sensitive political cases. In such instances, 
detainees may or may not be permitted legal counsel or granted 
a public hearing. There is no time limit with respect to 
charging a defendant or bringing the accused to trial. In 
recent years, the Government has used only the established 
civilian "revolutionary court" system. These courts are 
organized on provincial and national levels, and there are 



15 



BENIN 

plans for courts at the district level once sufficient judges 
have been trained. The highest court of appeal is the Central 
People's Court. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Although Benin's Constitution provides for the inviolability 
of the home and requires a warrant from a judge before the 
police can enter a residence, there have been occasional 
unconfirmed reports of forced entries in sensitive political 
cases. Other reports indicate that the security police monitor 
telephones and the mail of suspected persons. There are no 
other known types of interference with the home or family. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

With few exceptions, the local press, radio, and television 
are all government owned and operated. Among the exceptions 
are La Croix, a weekly paper published by the Catholic church, 
and Echo, a monthly journal of opinion circulated throughout 
West Africa, which treat political issues with circumspection. 
The official media carry only those stories that are approved 
by or serve the interests of the party and the State. 
Opposition to government policies and open criticism of the 
Government are not tolerated. Academic freedom on nonpolitical 
issues, however, is permitted, and there is normally no 
censorship of foreign books and artistic works. Foreign 
periodicals are widely available on newsstands. Foreign radio 
broadcasts are readily available to much of the population 
through shortwave radio. No attempt is made to interfere with 
radio reception. Although the public expression of political 
opinion by Beninese is tightly controlled, the general 
atmosphere in Benin is not one of fear and repression. Many 
Beninese are willing to discuss politics freely in private or 
in small groups. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

All meetings of a political nature must be sponsored by the 
single political party. Although organized public opposition 
to the Government itself is not permitted, there are numerous 
examples of groups which have organized to protest specific 
government policies or actions. In recent years, the 
Government has welcomed the formation of a wide variety of 
private social, service, and professional organizations 
{including Lions and Rotary clubs), many of which maintain 
active international affiliations. There is no known 
persecution of professional groups. 

Labor unions are organs of the party and unified under a 
general labor organization, the Union Nationale des Syndicats 
des Travailleurs du Benin (UNSTB) . Although controlled by the 
Government, individual local unions negotiate with individual 
employers on labor matters and represent workers' grievances 
to employers and to the Government. The Government often 
plays the role of arbiter. 

Although the right to strike is not explicitly denied or 
protected, it is clear that labor strikes are not sanctioned. 
The Constitution of 1977 states that "union activities are 
guaranteed to workers" but "must be used for the elevation of 
the conscience of the proletarian class and for the 



16 



BENIN 

augmentation and continued development of production." When 
labor actions and arrests occasionally occur in Benin, they 
usually involve students or professionals and take the form of 
brief work stoppages to protest such things as late 
scholarship or salary payments. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Christianity, Islam, and traditional religions all coexist in 
Benin, and adherence to a particular faith does not confer any 
special status or benefit. There are no restrictions on 
religious ceremonies or teachings, and religious conversion is 
freely permitted. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Domestic movement is not restricted. International movement 
is controlled in that a passport and exit permission must be 
obtained for travel to other than West African countries; 
obtaining these documents, however, is not difficult. 
Economic rather than governmental constraints usually preclude 
travel outside the region. There are no restrictions placed 
on residence within Benin, except for recently released 
prisoners who may be subject to travel restrictions. 
Emigration is common in Benin. Many Beninese move to 
neighboring countries to earn a livelihood without 
jeopardizing their citizenship. Beninese living abroad are 
encouraged by the Government to return home to help develop 
their country, but only a small number have done so. 

By far the largest group of displaced persons in Benin are 
Chadians who have fled the fighting in their country. There 
are, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for 
Refugees, about 3,500 displaced Chadians in Benin. Many of 
these are now permanently settled in Benin, although they are 
free to return to Chad if they wish. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The current one-party political system provides no mechanism 
whereby citizens are free to change their government. 
Leadership is exercised by President Kerekou and a small group 
of senior party officials, many of whom hold positions in the 
Government. The electoral process allows for citizen 
participation in the nomination of candidates for the National 
Revolutionary Assembly, in theory the principal decisionmaking 
body of the Government. Party membership is neither a 
requisite for participation in this process nor for high 
office or civil service employment. The final selection of 
candidates for the single national slate, however, is made by 
the party leadership. No opposition parties or slates are 
permitted. The Assembly itself rarely takes issue with 
policies formulated by the party leadership. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government considers any outside attempt to investigate 
human rights practices in Benin to be interference in its 
internal affairs. In February 1986, the Government deposited 
instruments of ratification for the African Charter on Human 
and People's Rights. 



17 



BENIN 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Historically, Beninese women have played a major role in the 
commercial sector as well as in small-scale family farming. 
Women have not had the same educational opportunities as men. 
Most boys now attend primary school, but only about one out of 
every two girls is in the primary grades. Nevertheless, the 
Government officially encourages new opportunities for women 
and, while there are no women in ministerial positions, a 
number of women figure prominently in executive level positions 
in the presidency and in the various ministries. There are 
two women on the Central Committee of the party. The ruling 
party has a women's organization--the Organisation des Femmes 
Revolutionnaires du Benin (OFRB) . As do other specialized 
party organizations, the OFRB serves to transmit party policy 
to its members. It also provides a channel for women's views 
to be made known to the party leadership. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The Government has given vigorous support to policies designed 
to improve the conditions of average workers in both the 
industrial and agricultural sectors. It has, for example, 
committed itself to the gradual extension of free or low-cost 
medical care and social services; legislated minimum wage 
levels (approximately $50 per month) and occupational safety 
conditions; and established procedures and mechanisms for the 
protection of worker rights, including legislation prohibiting 
child labor. The Beninese Labor Code establishes a 40-hour 
workweek and implicitly defines a "minimum age" by authorizing 
participation in the social security system beginning at age 
14. The civil service administration will not hire persons 
under 18. In many instances, however, the Government's 
ability to enforce these policies and regulations is limited 
by a shortage of administrative and financial resources and by 
the need for the entire family to farm subsistence plots of 
land. 



18 



BOTSWANA 



Botswana is a multiparty democracy with free elections, an 
independent judiciary, a small police force, and a 
well-disciplined army subordinate to civilian authority. 
Under the Constitution, executive power is vested in the 
President, who is chosen in a national election for a 5-year 
term. The most recent election was in 1984. The President, 
Quett K.J. Masire, selects the Cabinet from the National 
Assembly. One party continues to dominate the country's 
politics: the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which has held 
a majority in the National Assembly since independence and at 
the end of 1987 controlled 28 of 34 elective seats. 

Botswana encourages private enterprise and free trade. All 
citizens, including those whites who accepted Botswana 
citizenship, are free to participate in the economic and 
political life of the country. Exploitation of the country's 
mineral resources has stimulated economic growth (excluding 
mining) by 5.4 percent from 1983-87. Mining alone grew at an 
average rate of 31.9 percent in the same period. The diamond 
subsector recorded a price increase of 14.5 percent in 1986. 
Per capita gross domestic product increased from $69 in 1966 
to about $1,000 in 1987. About 75 percent of the population 
live in rural areas and are dependent for their livelihoods on 
subsistence farming. 

Botswana's human rights record generally remains very good. 
Citizens receive equal protection under the law; domestic 
political violence is rare; public debate, including that in 
the press, is lively; and several women hold positions of 
importance in the public and private sector. Botswana 
suffered continued pressure from neighboring South Africa in 
1987, which has forced the Government to retain special 
security procedures such as roadblock checkpoints. 

Botswana has maintained a reputation of courteous and 
efficient handling of travelers. Therefore, an incident of 
particular concern was the April 1987 fatal shooting of an 
unarmed British/Zimbabwean national by a Botswana Defense 
Force (BDF) soldier at a roadblock checkpoint. Appropriate 
procedures were initially followed, including arrest of the 
soldier and police and BDF investigations, but no action was 
taken against the soldier, who has since returned to duty at 
roadblocks. No trial was held, the results of the 
investigations were not made public, and there is no evidence 
that checkpoint procedures have been improved to preclude a 
similar occurrence. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

The Government has never been accused of involvement in 
political killings. There is no guerrilla or insurgency 
activity directed against the Government. However, a bomb 
blast in Gaborone in March, for which the Government 
eventually blamed the South African Government, resulted in 
the deaths of three persons. 



19 

BOTSWANA 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearance 
in 1987. The Constitution provides for the protection of 
personal liberty. The National Security Act of 1986 grants 
the Government the authority to hold detainees incommunicado 
on security grounds for an indefinite period of time; however, 
there have been no arrests or detentions made under this Act. 
Some persons have been arrested under existing criminal 
statutes dealing with possession of firearms, weapons, or 
contraband. There is no evidence that the National Security 
Act has seriously affected judicial procedures or led to the 
"disappearance" of any detainees. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There have been some reports of improper treatment by the 
police of persons in custody during 1987. This includes a case 
in which a defendant alleged that his confession had been 
coerced, and the magistrate ruled the confession inadmissible 
due to "improper police procedures." The ruling did not 
specify that physical abuse had occurred, but there have been 
other reports of physical mistreatment by police. There are 
no indications that systematic abuses are officially condoned 
or permitted. 

Prison conditions allow for adequate diet, health care, and 
visits from family members. Flogging is permitted for 
infractions of prison rules and is mandatory punishment for 
rape, attempted rape, armed robbery, burglary, housebreaking, 
and related offenses. Traditional tribal courts presided over 
by a chief, where jurisdiction is limited to minor offenses, 
may also sentence individuals to be flogged. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The Botswana Constitution contains a provision protecting 
citizens from arbitrary arrest. This provision still applies 
despite the passage of the 1986 National Security Act. 
Preventive detention is illegal, and habeas corpus exists both 
in law and practice. Police are required to bring a suspect 
before a magistrate for charging within 48 hours of his 
arrest. There is a functioning system of bail, and defendants 
have access to lawyers of their own choosing. 

In security cases not covered under the 1986 Act, the suspect 
must be arraigned within 96 hours of his arrest. In 
nonsecurity cases, suspects must be released after 48 hours 
unless the magistrate issues a warrant of detention, which is 
valid for 14 days. Every 14 days the police must appear 
before the magistrate and show they are making progress in the 
case. To date there have been no known abuses of this system. 

Forced labor is illegal and is not practiced. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The right to a fair public trial is provided by law and 
honored in practice; trials involving national security, 
however, may be closed to the public. Defendants are entitled 
to counsel; consultation between defendants and counsel may be 
held in private. There are clearly defined appeal procedures. 

The judiciary is independent of the executive and the military 



20 



BOTSWANA 

and consists of a High Court (which is the trial court with 
general civil and criminal jurisdiction), Court of Appeals, 
local magistrate courts, and customary courts. The High Court 
has ruled that there exists the right against self- 
incrimination in the courts. Moreover, silence cannot be 
construed as guilt, and the burden of proof remains with the 
prosecution except in security matters. Since no case has yet 
been tried under the National Security Act, legal practice 
under its provisions is not yet clear. There are no political 
prisoners in Botswana. 

Botswana created a Customary Court of Appeal in 1986, 
permitting cases tried in the traditional court system (which 
exists alongside the magistrates courts) the right to appeal 
judgments in familial and property cases. Since this Court 
began operating in February 1986, 204 criminal appeals and 197 
civil appeals have been heard. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

These rights are safeguarded by law and respected in 
practice. A search warrant issued by a magistrate is required 
for an official to enter a private residence, except in cases 
of suspected diamond theft, drug trafficking, or national 
security matters. There were no reported instances in which 
this authority was used for diamond or drug-related cases in 
1987, and the Government did not state whether the powers of 
search contained in the new National Security Act were used. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Freedom of speech and of the press are guaranteed by the 
Constitution and are respected in practice. The 
government-owned newspaper and radio continue to report 
statements by all opposition parties. Three independent 
weekly newspapers publish articles on a wider range of views 
than the government-owned media. Two non-Motswana editors of 
one of the independent newspapers were declared prohibited 
immigrants during 1987, and returned to their countries of 
or igin--Zambia and South Africa. There was some concern that 
politics may have been a motivating factor in this decision. 
There has been no confirmation of this, however, and the 
newspaper has continued to publish without visible changes in 
reporting style or content. The independent press, along with 
an effective judiciary and a functioning democratic political 
system, combine to uphold freedom of speech and of the press. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Freedom of assembly is a well-established tradition in 
Botswana, exemplified by the Kgotla, a communal gathering 
similar to a New England town meeting, in which citizens 
freely question leaders and voice opinions on local politics. 
Kgotla meetings are used regularly by political candidates and 
members of Parliament, including ministers, to explain their 
programs to the people. Large gatherings require local police 
approval, which is routinely given. Demonstrations are 
permitted so long as order is maintained. Organizers are 
required to submit a detailed plan for any demonstration and 
are personally responsible for ensuring that the plan is 
followed. 



21 



BOTSWANA 

Unions have the right to organize, to bargain collectively, 
and to strike after exhausting established procedures, which 
require that the Government be invited to arbitrate the 
dispute. In practice, strikes are very rare and usually 
quickly settled. Unions have chafed under government 
regulations which prohibit financial contributions to unions 
from outside Botswana and require that all union leaders 
continue to work full-time in the trade their union 
represents, thus preventing employment of paid, full-time 
union organizers. Unions are important in the country's 
largest industries (mining-related) but have not yet developed 
a base in other sectors of the economy. Completely 
independent of government control or party affiliation, unions 
in Botswana actively represent their members. 

Unions associate freely with international organizations, and 
members attend international conferences. The Botswana 
Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU) is affiliated with the 
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and is also a 
member of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity and 
the Southern African Trade Union Coordination Council 
(SATUCC) . The Government expelled the Malawian Executive 
Secretary of SATUCC in 1986, which caused the Secretariat to 
leave Botswana. Recently the Government has expressed an 
interest in having the executive secretariat return to 
Botswana with different personnel. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Open practice of religion is permitted and encouraged. There 
is no state religion. While most residents identify 
themselves with Christian denominations, active groups of 
Muslims, Hindus, Baha'is, and others practice their faiths 
freely. Religious affiliation is neither an advantage nor 
disadvantage politically or socially. Religious conversion is 
permitted, and missionaries are allowed to enter the country 
and proselytize. Foreign clergy are also permitted to enter 
Botswana and to serve expatriate congregations. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Botswana citizens are subject to virtually no restrictions on 
emigration or repatriation. Domestic and foreign travel are 
unrestricted and passports are easily obtained. Refugees 
documented by the United Nations High Commissioner for 
Refugees (UNHCR) are generally required to live in the 
settlement at Dukwe in northern Botswana where conditions are 
relatively good, due mainly to contributions of international 
donor organizations. Refugees may be authorized to live 
elsewhere for reasons such as employment or schooling. As 
with other foreigners in Botswana, refugees are not permitted 
to accept jobs which could be filled by local citizens. 

Due to allegations from some neighboring countries that 
refugees are using Botswana as a sanctuary in which to pursue 
activities against the governments of their respective home 
countries, Botswana has declared that Dukwe residents found 
outside the camp without permission will be considered to have 
abandoned refugee status and will be repatriated as a 
deterrent to questionable activities by other refugees. 

Amnesty International, in its 1987 report, stressed its 
concern about the Government's forcible repatriation of 
several refugees to Zimbabwe in 1986. Recent involuntary 



22 



BOTSWANA 

repatriations of Zimbabweans seemed to concern economic 
migrants who did not seek protection offered by the 
Government. The UNHCR has registered its concern that all 
refugees have full opportunity to meet UNHCR personnel prior 
to repatriation. The Government has indicated its willingness 
to provide protection officers access to refugees. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Botswana is ruled by a government freely elected by its 
people. In the 1984 national election (the fifth since 
Botswana became independent) , an estimated 70 percent of the 
eligible voters registered, and 86 percent of the registered 
voters actually cast their ballots. In 1986 Botswana held an 
important by-election in which an opposition party candidate 
won by a sizable majority despite a hard-fought campaign by the 
country's ruling party. Another by-election in 1987 resulted 
again in an opposition candidate retaining the parliamentary 
seat vacated by a colleague who had lost it as a result of a 
conviction on possession of a stolen vehicle. 

There are five parties in Botswana, three of which are 
represented in the country's National Assembly. Opposition 
parties are particularly strong in the urban areas, including 
Gaborone, Jwaneng, and Francistown. However, one party, the 
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), continues to dominate the 
country's politics, having held a majority in the National 
Assembly since independence in 1966. 

The political rights of women and minority groups are 
generally observed. For example, there are two female members 
of Parliament, one the Minister of External Affairs, the other 
the Executive Secretary of the majority party. Several 
members of minority ethnic groups are also represented in the 
National Assembly; one white Member of Parliament is also a 
cabinet minister, and the Speaker of the National Assembly is 
white. Several cabinet ministers are from small minority 
ethnic groups. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

Botswana cooperates with international agencies concerned with 
human rights, most notably the UNHCR, which maintains offices 
within Botswana. There are no Botswana-based organizations 
set up to observe, report, or contest human rights violations. 
The Government consistently has responded promptly and 
forthrightly to inguiries on the human rights situation in 
Botswana but usually refrains from public comment on alleged 
human rights violations in neighboring countries. However, 
Botswana condemns apartheid and advocates positive 
socioeconomic development in South Africa. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

While 95 percent of the population is made up of Tswana who 
are divided into eight subgroups, ethnic differences do exist 
in Botswana, though they play a marginal role in the country's 
politics. Only the approximately 50,000 Basarwa, or Bushmen, 
remain generally unrepresented in government. Because the 
Basarwa live primarily in remote, rural areas and have little 
contact with the population centers of Botswana, they remain 



23 



BOTSWANA 

relatively unaffected by government educational and economic 
assistance programs and, consequently, have participated only 
marginally in the country's political life. The Government 
does not oppress or deny them rights, and they have full 
voting rights. 

Women hold approximately 24 percent of the paid jobs in 
Botswana. An estimated 41 percent of central government 
employees are women, many of them, as noted, in high-level 
positions. While there is little overt discrimination, 
statistics suggest that social custom elevates the perquisites 
and privileges of men above those of women. Some 40 percent 
of rural households are headed by women. Generally speaking, 
women's economic opportunities--access to capital, labor, 
draft animals, seeds for farming--are significantly worse than 
those of men. Women may choose between civil marriage, in 
which all property is held in common, or customary marriage, 
which recognizes individual property brought to a marriage. 
Most women are not aware of the implications of these 
alternatives, however. Often a married woman is unable to 
obtain a bank loan without the signature of her husband, and 
an unmarried woman must obtain the signature of her father. 
The Government has assisted in the publication of a women's 
rights handbook, and has established preference points for 
women seeking government-sponsored development loans. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Botswana law prevents the employment of children 12 years and 
younger by anyone except members of the child's immediate 
family. No juvenile under the age of 15 can be employed in 
industry, and only those over 16 can be employed in night 
work. No person 16 or younger is permitted to work in 
hazardous jobs, including mining. Women are not permitted to 
work at night (except on an emergency basis in agricultural 
work) and are not permitted to work as miners. Moreover, 
Botswana law protects young people from recruiters for jobs 
outside the country. The law also provides for minimum, 
working standards, including job safety, maxim.um working hours 
per week, and a minimum wage. For some jobs during certain 
seasons, Botswana law permits a workweek longer than 48 hours 
(such as in agriculture during the harvest season) . Most 
major manufacturers adhere to the labor laws, including 
payment of overtime salaries (time and a half). Some smaller 
employers, however, fail to pay overtime, and no action is 
taken against them. 



80-779 - 



24 



BURKINA FASO 



Burkina Faso, one of the world's poorer countries, is a victim 
of frequent drought and has been subject to political 
instability. From August 1983, Captain Thomas Sankara held 
power as President of Burkina Faso until he was replaced on 
October 15, 1987 by Captain Blaise Compaore, President of the 
Front Populaire, in the country's fourth military coup since 
1980. No political party activities have been permitted since 
1980, and there are no indications that the country will return 
to constitutional rule. Instead, the Government uses a network 
of Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) , 
organized at national, regional, and local levels to mobilize 
the population and promote its revolutionary goals. 

The Burkina Faso armed forces number about 7,500 members, 
including 5,200 in the army, 100 in the air force, and 2,200 
in the paramilitary gendarmerie and the police. It is not 
known if the security police (DST) still exist under the new 
regime. The CDRs also function as a people's militia and 
occasionally detain individuals without public charges or 
proceedings . 

Burkina Faso is overwhelmingly tied to subsistence agriculture, 
with 90 percent of the population living in rural areas. The 
economy is highly vulnerable to fluctuations in rainfall. 
Frequent drought, lack of communications and other 
infrastructure, a low literacy rate, and a stagnant economy 
are all longstanding problems. 

Human rights abuses continued in 1987. A key event before the 
coup was the detention of trade union personnel and related 
political figures beginning late in May, several of whom may 
have been tortured. Trials of businessmen and civil servants, 
who were charged almost exclusively with fraud and corruption, 
continued to take place outside the traditional judicial 
system in People's Revolutionary Courts in which defendants 
may not be represented by legal counsel. Civilian and 
military personnel accused of lack of enthusiasm for the 
revolution continued to be dismissed for reasons ranging from 
misconduct to laziness, although in lesser numbers than in 
previous years. The October coup and its aftermath resulted 
in the loss of life from fighting and summary executions of 
about 30 persons, including former President Sankara. The new 
Government, however, released all political prisoners, 
reinstated previously suspended or dismissed government 
personnel, and allowed teachers who had been fired after a 
1984 strike to resume work. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

This year, apart from the military and civilian personnel 
killed during the coup itself, at least eight military and 
paramilitary personnel opposed to the new Government were 
summarily executed in the period immediately following that 
event. Prior to the coup, there were no known political 
killings during 1987. President Sankara is believed to have 
been killed in a gun fight during the coup. 



25 



BURKINA FASO 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearance. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

In 1987 there were allegations of torture of several trade 
union detainees. In its 1987 Report (covering 1986), Amnesty- 
International stated that it had received reports about 
torture and ill-treatment of detainees held in connection with 
bomb explosions in 1985. Some prisoners were reported to have 
been tortured with electric shock, burnt with cigarettes, 
beaten, and suspended by their wrists for long periods. 

Prison conditions are poor. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Reports of arbitrary arrest, followed at times by incommunicado 
detention for days or months without charge, continued in 
1987. In some cases, though far fewer than in previous years, 
these appear to have been initiated by poorly trained CDR 
security personnel. The law permits preventive detention 
without charge for a maximum of 72 hours, renewable for a 
single 72-hour period in criminal cases. In practice, there 
are frequent violations of this restriction in cases involving 
both Burkinabe and foreign nationals, especially in political 
cases. In addition, in cases of emergency or national 
security, the military code overrides the civil code. 
Military code procedures provide for continued detention 
beyond 72 hours. 

Until the October coup, several prominent political 
personalities of former regimes, such as the former President, 
Colonel Saye Zerbo, remained under a loose form of house 
arrest. Others, such as Paul Rouamba, former Ambassador to 
the United States and Ghana, remained imprisoned. Under 
Sankara, the Government began a series of arrests in 1987 of 
leaders of one of the four major labor organizations, the 
Burkinabe Trade Union Confederation (CSB) , starting with its 
Marxist Secretary General, Soumane Toure, on May 30. 
Subsequently, some 30 CSB members and political allies were 
detained without charge or trial for varying periods. Many 
were still in detention until the new Government freed all 
political prisoners. On July 2, the Secretary General of the 
essentially defunct School Teachers' Union, SNEAHV, Jean Bila, 
was arrested and held without trial until the coup. The 
Government forced the CSB and its component unions to elect 
new leaders in June. Nineteen members of a magistrates' union 
lost their jobs in mid-1987, reportedly due to their political 
views, but they were reinstated following the coup. The new 
Government detained or placed under house arrest several 
former officials from the Sankara regime. At the end of 1987, 
some were still being held. 

Some intellectuals, military officers, and former government 
officials have stayed in self-imposed exile, partly due to 
fear for their safety should they return. President Sankara 
had invited exiles to return home several times in recent 
years, asking them to participate in Burkina Faso ' s economic 
development. The new Government, like its predecessor, has 
welcomed opponents of the previous regime to return home. 



26 



BURKINA FASO 

Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited by the labor code and 
is not known to be practiced. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

During 1987 the People's Revolutionary Courts continued to hear 
cases primarily involving public corruption. The president of 
each court is a magistrate appointed by the Government to head 
a tribunal composed of magistrates, military personnel, and 
members of the CDRs . The Court President asks questions 
directly of the defendant. There is no role for a public 
prosecutor, and the accused may consult but not be represented 
by counsel during the session. Witnesses can be called by the 
Court, or they can present themselves to give testimony. The 
Sankara Government preferred to use military courts, rather 
than the regular courts, to try persons charged with political 
and security offenses. The new Government did not try any 
political detainees during 1987. 

President Sankara said the people's courts should be viewed as 
a permanent part of the country's judicial system. The Sankara 
Government had already organized a series of similar tribunals 
to hear minor cases at the village, department, and province 
levels. Most of the judges in these lower level courts are 
popularly elected. The Government's oft-stated aim in 
establishing these peoples courts was to ensure fair access to 
justice for an overwhelmingly illiterate, impoverished 
population. One such court was convened to try corruption 
cases after the new Government took power. 

The regular judiciary, patterned after the French system, has 
continued to function for most criminal and civil cases. 
Defendants traditionally receive a fair trial and are 
represented by counsel. A new development in 1987 was the 
establishment of a system whereby civil service attorneys are 
appointed to represent those who do not wish to retain or are 
unable to afford, a private attorney. While these civil 
servants should theoretically make legal aid widely available 
and enjoy hypothetical independence of the Government, some 
observers believe this is the first step in gradual elimination 
of independent lawyers. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Government authorities generally do not interfere in the daily 
lives of ordinary citizens, and there is no general monitoring 
of private correspondence or telephones. In theory, homes may 
be searched only under authority of a warrant issued by the 
Attorney General. However, in national security cases, a 
special law permits surveillance, searches, and monitoring of 
telephones and correspondence without a warrant. This law has 
been used against persons suspected of opposition to the 
Government . 

The Sankara Government encouraged participation in the CDR 
organization. Vigorous participation in CDR activities helped 
in obtaining civil service appointments and promotions. The 
Government considered opposition to CDR activities to be 
political opposition, which could lead in serious cases to 
discharge from the civil service. The attitude of the new 
Government toward citizen participation in the CDRs remained 
unclear at the end of 1987. 



27 



BURKINA FASO 
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

While there is no formal government censorship, references by 
the regime to enemies of the State at home and abroad inhibit 
both government-employed journalists and ordinary citizens 
from expressing critical views. This is reinforced by 
occasional dismissals from government service and reports of 
arbitrary arrest, dampening a lively tradition of debate on 
political topics. 

Under the control of the Minister of Information, the media, 
which consist of a daily and a weekly newspaper, a weekly 
magazine, and radio and television stations, are government 
owned. There is no serious criticism of the Government as a 
whole in the media, but there is selected criticism of 
officials and programs, particularly in a new satirical 
government weekly newspaper. 

Foreign newspapers and magazines were permitted to enter the 
country freely during 1987, both before and after the coup. 
Foreign journalists could travel and file stories without 
censorship or hindrance and enjoyed easy access to government 
officials. The new Government allowed extensive and uncensored 
coverage of postcoup events by foreign journalists for about 2 
weeks. Then several journalists who had been particularly 
aggressive in interviewing high school students about their 
reactions to the coup were detained briefly and released. 
Following the publication of similar stories by the magazine 
Jeune Afrique, the government radio station attacked the 
magazine's reporting. 

In the arts, movies are subject to censorship by a review 
board which includes religious authorities as well as 
government officials. During 1987 a wide variety of American, 
French, and other foreign films were shown. In 1987 there 
were no known instances of political censorship of films. 
There is no interference with international radio broadcasts. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Under both the Sankara and Compaore Governments, political 
parties are banned, and administrative permission is generally 
required for assemblies of any kind. Monpolitical associations 
for business, religious, cultural, sporting, and other purposes 
are allowed and experience no difficulty in obtaining 
permission to meet. 

Organized labor continues to be an important force in 
Burkina. There are four labor f ederations--of which the 
largest is affiliated with the International Confederation of 
Free Trade Unions. There are also a number of autonomous 
unions. The federations take turns representing organized 
labor at the International Labor Organization meetings and 
participate in African regional labor meetings as well. 

Unions have the right to bargain for increased wages and other 
benefits within a specific bargaining unit such as a company 
or factory but cannot bargain industry-wide. They represent 
the interests of their members in the private and public 
sectors, as well as before the labor inspection service of the 
Government and before the courts. All unions jealously guard 
their limited independence from the Government. Organized 
labor has the formal right to strike, but the Sankara 



28 



BURKINA FASO 

Government eliminated this right in practice. The attitude of 
the new military Government on the right to strike was not 
clear at the end of 1987. 

The Sankara Government made a major effort in 1987 to bring 
some elements of the labor movement in line with government 
policies, notably in the case of the CSB confederation (see 
Section 1 .d. ) . 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Burkina Paso is a secular state, and there is no discrimination 
on religious grounds. Islam and Christianity exist side by 
side, with almost 40 percent of the population Muslim and 
about 10 percent Christian. The remainder of the population 
practices traditional African religions. Both Muslim and 
Christian holidays are recognized as national holidays. 
Social mobility and access to modern sector jobs are neither 
linked to, nor restricted by, religious affiliations. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Travelers within Burkina Faso are often stopped at police, 
army, and internal customs checkpoints. There appears to be 
little restriction on foreign travel for business and 
tourism. Exit permits, once used to limit movements of 
workers to neighboring countries, particularly to the Cote 
d'lvoire where 1 million or more Burkinabe continue to reside 
and work, are no longer required. 

Refugees are accepted freely in Burkina Faso, and attempts are 
made to provide for their care in cooperation with the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. There were 
approximately 250 refugees and displaced persons in Burkina 
Faso at the end of 1987, mainly from Chad. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Neither under the last Chief of State, President Sankara, nor 
under the rule of the President of the Front Populaire, 
Captain Blaise Compaore, have the citizens had the right to 
change their government. Despite four changes in leadership 
since 1980, the military has dominated the political process. 
Captain Compaore told a journalist late in October that his 
ambition is to limit, then to disengage, the army from playing 
a role in politics. He pledged to move toward 
"democratization" of the country. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government has made no attempt to hinder the activities of 
international human rights organizations. In March 1986, the 
Sankara Government invited Amnesty International to send a 
delegate to observe the trial of an official charged with 
embezzlement of funds. (The organization declined on the 
grounds that the case appeared to be solely a criminal matter, 
and thus was outside its mandate.) The new Government's 
attitude toward the European Parliament's November resolution 
condemning the assassination of Sankara was unknown. 



29 



BURKINA FASO 

A government-supported organization lobbies against the South 
African apartheid system and other racial oppression, but it 
makes no effort to look into domestic human rights issues or 
foreign practices other than racial discrimination. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language or Social Status 

Minority ethnic groups are as likely to be represented in the 
inner circles of the Government as are the dominant Mossi, who 
comprise 50 percent of the population. Government decisions 
do not favor one ethnic group over another. One ostensible 
reason for the 1983 increase in administrative regions from 11 
to 30 was to improve access of minority groups to local 
administrative authorities. 

The role of women in Burkina Faso is still limited by the 
cultural orientation of a rural African society. Women are 
important in family farming and in the market economy. The 
Sankara Government emphasized its strong commitment to 
expanding opportunities for women and appointed a number of 
women to cabinet positions and other government jobs. The new 
Government has not taken formal positions on the status of 
women, but 3 women remain in the Cabinet. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The labor code sets the minimum age for employment at 14, the 
average age for completion of basic secondary school. 
However, the Government lacks the means to enforce this 
provision adequately, owing to the large number of small, 
family subsistence farms, and the traditional apprenticeship 
system. A minimum monthly wage of about $75 and a maximum 
workweek of 48 hours are stipulated by the labor code, as are 
safety and health provisions. A system of government 
inspections and labor courts ensures that these provisions are 
applied in the small industrial and commercial sectors, but 
they have been impossible to enforce in the dominant 
subsistence agriculture sector. 



30 



BURUNDI 



The Republic of Burundi is a one-party state led by President 
Pierre Buyoya , an army major who came to power in September 
1987 through a bloodless coup. At present, the nation is ruled 
through a 31-member Military Committee for National Salvation, 
but Buyoya has promised a speedy return to civilian government, 
and 16 of 20 ministers named recently are civilians. The 
National Party for Unity and Progress (UPRONA) is the only 
significant political entity in Burundi. As President of the 
Republic and head of the ruling military committee, Buyoya 
plays a dominant policy role. With the Constitution suspended 
officially, Buyoya currently exercises legislative and 
regulatory powers as well. The dominance of the minority 
Tutsi over the majority Hutu ethnic group has been the central 
political and social reality of Burundi for several centuries, 
and continues under the new Government, although Buyoya has 
announced a policy of tribal reconciliation and has promised 
to increase Hutu participation in the country's emerging 
political institutions and even in the military. 

The Burundi Armed Forces are well equipped and well trained to 
maintain law and order. In addition, there is a regular police 
force responsible for public order and a separate force of 
security police responsible primarily for internal state 
security, including the monitoring of dissent. The state 
security police have the same powers of arrest as the regular 
police and are subject to the same process of judicial review 
of detentions. 

Burundi is a poor country with one of the highest population 
densities in Africa. Most Burundi (90 percent) earn their 
livelihood as subsistence farmers working small, privately 
owned plots. The small monetary economy is based on coffee, 
which accounts for 85 percent of foreign exchange earnings. 
Recent gains in food production and agriculture have been 
largely offset by the high population growth rate. 

The major development in 1987 was the coup d'etat which 
brought Buyoya to power. In the months prior to the coup, the 
Government of former President Bagaza took an increasingly 
hard line against any form of dissent. In particular, Bagaza 
sought to weaken, if not destroy, the Roman Catholic Church 
through church closings, the arrest and expulsion of priests, 
and the placement of severe restrictions on the freedom to 
worship. Other religions were persecuted also, and large 
numbers of Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses were 
imprisoned without charge under harsh conditions. Bagaza's 
excesses were a major cause of resentment against the old 
Government and Buyoya has made the protection of human rights 
a major goal of his administration. In the first days 
following the coup, the Military Committee freed all political 
prisoners, announced a partial amnesty for other prisoners, 
opened the closed churches, and invited all exiles to return. 
By mid-October, Buyoya had announced further liberalization, 
including authorization for weekday masses and religious 
schools and the reinstitution of the office of catechist. 
Buyoya also has encouraged discussion and pledged wide 
democratic debate within the party structure. The new 
President has preserved the civilian character of the 
bureaucracy and taken steps to reduce corruption. The 
Military Committee is moving more slowly in reinstituting the 
national assembly, with elections not expected for several 
years. While the Constitution has been suspended, government 
operations which rely on constitutional provisions continue as 
before. 



31 



BURUNDI 



RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 



Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no allegations of killings for political motives or 
reports of summary executions. 

b. Disappearance 

No disappearances caused by the Government or by other groups 
were reported. Prison authorities during the Bagaza era 
reportedly could not account for all persons who had been 
detained, but whether those unaccounted for died in prison, 
escaped, or were released remains to be determined. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Torture is forbidden by law, but prior to the coup cruel 
treatment of suspects or detainees often occurred in the form 
of beatings at the time of arrest or interrogation. These 
beatings, when combined with other harsh conditions, 
occasionally led to serious injury or even death. In fact, 
two Jehovah's Witnesses are reported to have died in May as a 
direct result of such mistreatment. Since the coup, there 
have been no reports of torture or cruel punishment. The new 
Government has expressed an interest in having regular visits 
by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 
Prison conditions remain severe due to the lack of adequate 
hygiene, medical care, and food. Prisoners are segregated 
according to the nature of their crimes, allowed regular family 
visits, and participate in rehabilitative work programs, 
including agricultural production. Due to inadequate prison 
budgets, food rations are likely to remain limited, and 
families are encouraged and expected to provide supplemental 
food and other personal items to their imprisoned relatives. 
The Government recognizes this is a serious problem and has 
begun a program of prison renovation. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Police officers are empowered to detain suspects without an 
arrest warrant but must submit a written report to the public 
prosecutor's office within 24 hours. The public prosecutor 
examines the report and can either order the release of the 
detainee or issue an arrest warrant valid for 5 days. The 
public prosecutor then must state the charges before a 
magistrate in the presence of the detainee. The magistrate 
either releases the detainee or issues orders confirming the 
detention, initially for 15 days and subsequently for 30-day 
periods as necessary to prepare the case for trial. Bail is 
set only in cases of embezzlement or similar crimes involving 
financial wrongdoing. 

Since the coup, the prescribed procedures for arrest and 
imprisonment have been followed. Previously, the elapsed time 
between an arrest and the notification of the public prosecutor 
often extended to several days, and detainees did not always 
appear before a magistrate within the allotted 5 days after 
arrest. Relatives or consular representatives are almost 
always made aware of arrests or detentions, generally at the 



32 



BURUNDI 

time of incarceration, and detainees usually are permitted to 
go to their homes prior to being brought to the place of 
detention. 

The Government does not exile its nationals. Citizens of 
other countries suspected of criminal activity or lacking 
proper residency documents are expelled. Forced or compulsory 
labor is not permitted under current law, but most citizens 
are expected to perform community service on Saturday mornings. 
This last measure had caused serious problems during the Bagaza 
era for Seventh-Day Adventists who are forbidden by their faith 
from working on Saturday, their Sabbath. The Buyoya Government 
has agreed to let the Adventists perform this service on 
another day. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The judiciary's independence is limited by the requirement to 
adhere to the guidance and recommendations of the party, the 
Government, and the President. Judges are appointed by and 
serve at the pleasure of the President. Nevertheless, there 
is a high degree of autonomy in the court's daily 
administration of justice. Though court decisions cannot be 
overturned by the executive branch, the President has the 
power to pardon or reduce sentences. 

Burundi has separate court systems to deal with military, 
civil/criminal, and state security cases. Military tribunals 
have jurisdiction only over military personnel. The State 
Security Court has jurisdiction over both civilian and 
military personnel, and its proceedings need not be made 
public. To date, this Court has never been used. Burundi law 
provides the right to counsel, and indigents are provided 
defense counsel by the State. Pretrial proceedings may 
involve lengthy investigations. The public prosecutor's 
office generally dismisses cases where the evidence in support 
of the charges is weak, and only proceeds to trial when it 
believes guilt has been established. The courts are still 
hampered by a lack of trained legal personnel and by heavy 
case loads. 

During the past 7 years, the Government has taken steps to 
improve the judicial system, and the 1984 party congress 
recommended additional judicial reforms. New courts have been 
created, the number of magistrates has tripled, and training 
seminars and conferences have been held. 

Following the coup d'etat, all political prisoners or 
political detainees in Burundi were released. Since then two 
former Ministers in the Bagaza Government have been arrested 
on criminal charges of corruption. This contrasts sharply 
with the situation during the months immediately prior to the 
coup, as Bagaza's security service arrested and detained ever 
larger numbers of suspected dissidents, including Burundi's 
former ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. Amnesty 
International, in its 1987 Report, estimated that there may 
have been about 100 political prisoners held at any one cime 
in 1986. These included several former ministers from 
President Micombero's regime, who were being held for 
criticizing the Government's religious policy. 



33 



BURUNDI 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The inviolability of private correspondence and of the home 
are ensured in the Constitution and respected in practice. A 
judicial warrant is required for a law enforcement official to 
enter and search a private residence. 

Membership in the major political party and its affiliated 
organizations is open to all, but is not required. The State 
Security Office monitors political dissent through the state 
security police and by employing informers who report on 
discontent and dissent as well as on criminal activity. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Government controls all domestic print and broadcast 
media. The French-language daily and Kirundi-language weekly 
are published by the Ministry of Information, which also 
operates the domestic radio and television stations. The 
media have been required to support the fundamental policies 
of the party and the Government. Some criticism of the 
Government is permitted in the printed press, but journalists 
are state employees and are subject to disciplinary action if 
their criticism goes beyond what is considered tolerable. The 
Government rarely interferes with the distribution of foreign 
news publications and never interferes with radio reception 
from foreign sources. 

In the first months following the coup, there has been an 
unprecedented outpouring of public debate and questioning on 
formerly taboo subjects such as ethnic relations and official 
corruption. Academic freedom has been limited in the past in 
that primary and secondary school teachers were expected to 
support government policies. It is not yet known whether this 
will continue. At the university, professors come from many 
different countries, both east and west, and are permitted to 
lecture freely in their subject areas, conduct research, and 
draw independent conclusions. Public censorship occurs only 
in the case of sexually explicit foreign film material or 
publications . 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

In the past, the express authorization of the Government was 
required for all political meetings. This requirement 
effectively guaranteed government control of all public forums 
and limited association for political purposes to participation 
in the party or its affiliated youth, labor, or women's 
movements. This restriction has not been enforced since the 
coup, but it is not yet known whether it will be withdrawn 
officially. 

The party controls the National Trade Union Confederation 
(UTB) , and has institutionalized this single trade union 
structure by means of legislation. The principal role of the 
UTB, to which virtually the entire salaried work force 
belongs, is to serve as an intermediary between workers and 
employers in labor matters. The UTB arbitrates individual and 
collective labor disputes and often forces employers to revise 
their practices. Unauthorized advocacy of a strike or lockout 
is a criminal offense. Therefore, though they are technically 
permissible, there have been no strikes in recent years. The 



34 



BURUNDI 

UTB participates in the International Labor Organization and 
is a member of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity. 
In 1986 the UTB held an extraordinary meeting to adopt its 
statutes, and the proceedings were relatively democratic. 

The Government permits nonpolitical private associations, but 
requires that they be registered and accorded legal recognition 
before they may function. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Ex-President Bagaza saw organized religion as a threat to his 
power and sought to diminish the role of the church in the 
everyday life of the people. To accomplish this, he placed a 
series of ever more repressive restrictions on where and when 
people could worship. Further, there was an official, though 
undeclared, policy of harassment against organized religion, 
particularly the Catholic Church. This harassment took the 
form of imprisoning a number of priests, nuns, and lay 
officials, expelling or denying visa renewals for missionaries, 
closing down churches, abolishing the office of catechist, 
expropriating church schools and property, and engaging in a 
vicious media campaign which accused the church of everything 
from sowing ethnic discord to having Nazi sympathies. This 
program was extremely unpopular with the Burundi people, and 
President Buyoya and his Military Committee have acted quickly 
to remove many of the most serious restrictions. Specifically, 
Buyoya has freed all religious prisoners (along with the 
political prisoners), reopened the closed churches, authorized 
weekday masses, reinstituted the catechists, and stated that 
Catholic seminaries and the "Yaga-Mukama" literacy/catechism 
classes may be reestablished. Further, the church will be 
permitted to make radio broadcasts and publish newspapers and 
books. Several other issues, such as the disposition of 
confiscated property and the return of former missionaries, 
are currently the subject of discussions between church 
leaders and the Government. 

Although these reforms will restore the church to a key role 
in the development of the country, religious expression in 
Burundi continues to be carefully restricted by civil laws and 
regulations. The Burundi Government believes religious 
organizations must be subject to the same sorts of rules and 
restrictions which apply to secular organizations. All 
religious associations must receive approval from the 
Government to operate in Burundi and are expected not to 
engage in political activity critical of the regime in power. 
The legal representative of each religious sect must be a 
Burundi citizen. 

During the Bagaza regime, two religions, the Seventh-Day 
Adventists and the Jehovah's Witnesses, were banned. However, 
an international delegation of Seventh-Day Adventists has been 
told by the Minister of Interior that the Adventists will be 
allowed to reorganize. The previous problem relating to the 
Adventists" refusal to do Saturday work has been resolved by a 
mutual agreement that the Adventists will perform their 
community service on some other day. The Jehovah's Witnesses 
have not yet requested to be reinstated as a recognized 
religion, so it is not yet known whether they will be allowed 
to reestablish themselves in Burundi. 

There are no barriers to the maintenance of links with 
coreligionists in other countries. Religious beliefs do not 



35 



BURUNDI 

exclude people from participation in the party or from 
receiving social benefits. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 



Mo 



i-.wvement is generally free within Burundi, although government 
policies discourage urban migration. Foreign travel and 
emigration are relatively free. Prospective Burundi travelers 
must have exit visas as well as passports. In the past, some 
foreigners applying for exit visas were required to prove they 
had no outstanding debts. During 1987 until the coup d'etat, 
many missionaries and other long-time foreign residents were 
denied the renewal of their residence permits. The Buyoya 
regime has reversed this trend and renewed the permits of 
several residents and missionaries previously threatened with 
expulsion. 

The Government has cooperated closely with the office of the 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) . 
Burundi claims to shelter 262,000 refugees, but most are 
long-time residents who now are well assimilated. The UNHCR 
estimates that there are approximately 70,000 refugees, 
primarily Tutsis of Rwandan origin who fled to Burundi in the 
1960*s. Many are well integrated in Burundi, although they 
may acquire citizenship only through marriage to a Burundi 
citizen. During 1987 increasing numbers of Rwandan and other 
refugees lost their jobs when they were replaced by Burundi 
citizens of matching qualifications, despite the provision in 
Burundi law granting refugees the right to work. In July 
1987, the Ministry of Interior declared that any refugee 
holding a job would be allowed to keep it, and any unemployed 
refugee could fill jobs for which there were no qualified 
Burundi. The Government periodically repatriates Rwandan 
nationals who lack residence permits or who have been arrested 
on suspicion of criminal activities. Refugees who fled from 
Burundi in the 1970's and earlier continue to return and have 
full rights as citizens. Some 5,000 Burundi who were 
repatriated forcibly from Tanzania in April 1987 were welcomed 
and given materials to reestablish themselves in less 
populated areas. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Burundi citizens do not have the right to change their 
government. Political participation can take place only 
within the one-party structure, and voters can express 
dissatisfaction only by voting against incumbents. The party 
is open to all Burundi supporting its principles and claims a 
membership of approximately 1.4 million, over three-quarters 
of the adult population. The party regularly holds local and 
regional meetings, where party members discuss issues and make 
recommendations. While there are multiple candidates for 
party positions, balloting is not secret. 

Since September 1987, the 31-member Military Committee for 
National Salvation (MCNS) is the supreme body of the nation, 
charged with directing policies and government decisions. 
Most executive decisions are taken by the 10-member Executive 
Committee of the MCNS. The President has indicated that the 
Military Committee will rule until civilian government 
institutions, presumably including the National Assembly, are 
reconstituted. The President has been invested by the 



36 



BURUNDI 

Military Committee with legislative and regulatory authority, 
executing this authority within the guidelines decided by the 
committee . 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Buyoya Government has cited the Bagaza regime's abuse of 
human rights as one of the reasons for its overthrow. It has 
pledged to protect the rights of all Burundi citizens and to 
work with humanitarian organizations, including permitting 
regular ICRC prison visits in the future. In 1986 the Bagaza 
regime authorized the ICRC to schedule periodic visits to 
prisons, and visits were made. The scheduled visit for August 
1987 was postponed without explanation, but shortly thereafter 
it was revealed that Burundi prisons were holding a greatly 
increased number of political prisoners. The Bagaza Government 
permitted Amnesty International to visit Burundi in 1987. 
Burundi is a party to several United Nations instruments on 
human rights. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The minority Tutsi have for centuries dominated the majority 
Hutu. Civil strife in 1972, which culminated in government 
sanctioned massacres, resulted in the deaths of around 150,000 
Hutu and caused another 200,000 to flee to neighboring Rwanda 
and Tanzania. During the Second Republic beginning in 1976, 
the level of ethnic tension markedly declined, and Tutsi-Hutu 
tensions are not believed to have played a role in the 
downfall of the Bagaza regime. Thousands of Hutu refugees 
have returned to Burundi over the past several years. While 
the Government is far from representative of the Burundi 
population as a whole (85 percent Hutu, 14 percent Tutsi, and 
1 percent other), Buyoya has appointed Hutus to all levels of 
government, including 7 to his 20-member Cabinet, and 6 out of 
15 provincial governors. 

Intermarriage also has contributed to a blurring of ethnic 
distinctions. The low level of economic development in rural 
areas affects both Tutsi and Hutu, making the difference in 
economic status between the two groups scarcely discernible in 
the countryside. However, because of their longstanding 
dominance of the government and access to education, the Tutsi 
predominate in the modern economic sector. The military 
remains under Tutsi control, and Tutsi dominance is expected 
to continue under Buyoya ' s rule. Nevertheless, there is no 
evidence that Hutus are denied equal protection under the law. 

Women in society hold a secondary position, although their 
status is undergoing considerable change from traditional 
patterns. The suspended Constitution provided for legal 
equality. The current legal code prohibits polygamy and a 
dowry requirement, allows women some control over family 
matters, and provides for land inheritance by women. Although 
fewer women than men obtain a formal education, once a degree 
is attained women can generally find suitable employment. The 
Government has not discriminated against women in hiring. 
Women are represented at all levels in the political life of 
the country, including two in the Buyoya Cabinet. Their main 
vehicle of political expression is the Burundi Women's Union 
which is affiliated with the party. The party remains 
dominated by males. 



37 



BURUNDI 



CONDITIONS OF LABOR 



More than 90 percent of the population of Burundi are 
subsistence farmers. Some increased monetization of the 
economy is occurring with the increase in coffee and tea 
production. Worker rights are guaranteed by the Burundi labor 
code and by the National Collective Interprofessional Labor 
Convention, but these rights have relevance primarily for 
workers in the small wage sector of the economy. Working 
hours vary between 40 and 45 hours per week; Saturday 
afternoons, Sundays, and holidays are times of rest. Children 
under the age of 12 may not be employed in any capacity, nor 
may children under the age of 16 be engaged in dangerous or 
strenuous work. But, as a practical matter, many children are 
obliged by custom and circumstance to help their families in 
subsistence agriculture. In the modern economic sector, 
minimum health and safety standards are monitored by the 
Ministry of Labor, but enforcement of these standards is 
limited, in part due to the lack of inspectors. 

Burundi has a high population growth rate. The number of 
available workers for salaried jobs far exceeds demand. As a 
result, labor costs are low. The established minimum wage of 
approximately $1.12 per day is barely adequate to provide a 
decent living for workers and families. Wages are higher in 
the few private sector businesses. 



CAMEROON 



Political power in Cameroon is heavily concentrated in the 
presidency. The President appoints all government and party 
officials and makes all major decisions, although key 
parliamentarians in the National Assembly and others have some 
behind-the-scenes influence. Cameroon had an active multiparty 
system when it became independent, but under former President 
Ahidjo, all parties were gradually consolidated into the 
Cameroon National Union, renamed in 1985 under President Paul 
Biya the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) . Biya 
began a policy of democratizing the party structure in 1987 at 
the grass roots in preparation for multiple candidate municipal 
elections in 1987 and multiple candidate legislative elections 
in 1988. 

Internal security responsibilities are shared by the National 
Police (Surete National), the National Intelligence Service 
(Centre National Pour les Etudes et Recherche, CENER) , the 
Ministry of Territorial Administration, Military Intelligence, 
and, to a lesser extent, the Presidential Security Service. 
The Ministry of Territorial Administration is in charge of 
prisons, and the National Police has the dominant role in 
enforcing internal security laws. The CENER and the military 
are still involved in both those functions, but to a lesser 
degree. 

Cameroon's economy remains strong, with a per capita gross 
domestic product ($1,130 in 1986) that places Cameroon among 
the middle-income developing countries. Nonetheless, it 
remains plagued by many problems of underdevelopment and its 
economy declined in 1987 as revenues from oil and other raw 
material exports fell. Cameroon's diversified agricultural 
base and the Government's conservative economic policies 
should help the country weather declining terms of trade and 
other external difficulties. 

During the 22 years of President Ahidjo's rule, Cameroon's 
diversity and the armed violence in some parts of the country 
were used to justify authoritarian control and harsh 
restrictions on civil liberties. In contrast, under President 
Biya the human rights environment has improved, but this 
progress was marred by two incidents in 1987 in which 
officials of the Cameroon Tribune, the Government's 
francophone daily, were detained. In both instances, the 
detainees were reportedly released by order of President 
Biya. By most estimates, 10 to 20 political detainees, 
holdovers from the arrests that followed the attempted 1984 
coup, remain in custody. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of political killing. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of disappearance. 



39 



CAMEROON 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Torture is proscribed by the criminal code, which renders 
evidence obtained by torture inadmissible. In addition, the 
penal code prohibits public servants from using force against 
any person. However, very poor prison conditions, including 
inadequate food and sanitation, and limited medical facilities 
remain problems. Prisoners have reportedly suffered from 
severe malnutrition unless provided food by friends or 
families. Persons under "administrative detention" (i.e., 
political detainees) are kept in special camps or prisons. 
Access to the administrative detention centers by families and 
friends is severely restricted. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Under Cameroonian law, a person arrested on suspicion of 
committing an offense may not be held more than 48 hours 
without a court order. This provision is generally observed. 
However, after an investigating magistrate has determined that 
the case should be brought to trial and has issued a warrant 
to that effect, there is no limitation on how long the detainee 
may be held in "preventive detention" pending trial. Accused 
persons awaiting trial constitute the majority of persons in 
the prisons at Yaounde and Douala. Release on bail is 
infrequent. The CENER does not bring its detainees before 
magistrates for investigation, as is the norm under the penal 
code. 

Persons may be held in administrative detention under 
legislation pertaining to subversion. The penal code defines 
detention as the "loss of liberty for a political felony or 
misdemeanor." Such detention by regional authorities is 
initially for 1 month, renewable twice, and may be extended up 
to an additional 6 months by the Minister of Territorial 
Administration. Generally, those arrested and placed in 
administrative detention do not disappear--their families are 
told where they are, and they are eventually released, 
although the detention may be lengthy. Political detainees, 
10 to 20 of whom are currently estimated to be in custody, are 
usually held under this type of detention. Under state of 
emergency provisions, authorities may also order detention for 
up to 1 week for persons judged "dangerous to public security." 
The Minister of Territorial Administration may also order 
detention of such persons for up to 2 months; the order is 
renewable without limitation. The state of emergency 
provisions were not used in 1987. 

Local police occasionally harass citizens and threaten to 
detain them unless bribes are paid. These actions are not 
condoned by high government officials and have been sharply 
criticized by the President. In October 1987, the Secretary 
of State for Internal Security publicly reminded police that 
they must not become criminals in enforcing the law and they 
must enforce it fairly. 

There are no reports of forced labor being practiced in 
Cameroon. 

e. Denial of Fair Trial 

Trial by a presiding magistrate is guaranteed by law, and this 
practice is followed with the exception of persons held under 
administrative detention. Public trials are also guaranteed 



40 



CAMEROON 

by law, although exceptions are allowed for the public good or 
national security reasons. Trials which involve prominent 
persons or which are controversial are sometimes held in 
private. Magistrates in Cameroon are a corps of career civil 
servants responsible to the Minister of Justice and are 
required to have law degrees. Their decisions are generally 
not subject to government interference, and they are usually 
considered to conduct fair trials. There was an instance in 
1987, however, in which a magistrate was apparently the object 
of a retaliatory transfer after rendering a civil judgment 
against the Government. Defendants in felony cases are 
provided attorneys if they cannot afford one. 

Crimes involving subversion or illegal use of weapons, as well 
as crimes involving the military, are tried by military 
tribunal. Each tribunal has three members, and its presiding 
officer must be a magistrate and often is a military officer. 
As in civil cases, defendants are entitled to either public or 
private counsel. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Both invasions of the home and tampering with correspondence 
are violations of Cameroonian law. However, there are reports 
that police enter homes without warrants during periodic 
searches for criminals in low-income neighborhoods. Police 
officials also sometimes enter homes and demand to see 
receipts for household property as a customs law enforcement 
measure. Surveillance of suspected political dissidents, 
including monitoring of mail and of telephone conversations, 
is also common. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Constitution of 1972 provides for the freedom of expression 
and press, but under Cameroonian law and practice these 
freedoms are restricted. No written ground rules exist, and 
the private press must submit each issue for censorship to see 
what is deemed acceptable and what is not. There is no 
evidence that anyone is punished for privately criticizing the 
Government, and freedom of public discussion exists to a degree 
that was unknown during the Ahidjo era. The private press 
continues to flourish, with close to 20 newspapers publishing 
on a regular schedule. 

Although no newspapers were closed during 1987, several 
incidents impinged upon the freedom of the Cameroonian press. 
In December 1986, the Minister of Justice criticized the press 
for considering itself a fourth branch of government, 
emphasized the need for state controls over the press, and 
warned of severe sanctions in the event of press misbehavior. 
In January 1987, two senior officials of the Cameroon Tribune, 
the government francophone journal, were arrested after the 
unauthorized publication of a presidential decree; the 
journalists were released over 1 month later but were 
subsequently fired. In March, three officials of the Cameroon 
Tribune were detained and interrogated by the CENER, Cameroon's 
security service, following the publication of an article 
about a conference on political literature held at the 
National University of Cameroon in Yaounde. In addition to 
the journalists, two academic participants were arrested and 
interrogated at the same time. As was the case in the earlier 



41 



CAMEROON 

incident. President Biya ordered the five detainees released 
when he learned of the arrests upon his return to Cameroon 
from a trip abroad. 

There has been increased editorial comment in the 
government-controlled press and radio, although the official 
journalists, bound by rules governing the behavior of civil 
servants, enjoy much less latitude than do their private 
counterparts. Most official journalists are civil servants 
and can be transferred to less desirable jobs if they do not 
censor their own reporting. Cameroonian television has been 
on the air since December 1985, and although the television 
journalists seem to have more leeway to tackle sensitive 
social issues and governmental corruption, they, like their 
print and radio counterparts, practice self-censorship on 
controversial political issues. 

In past years, issues of international publications have been 
seized because they contained articles about Cameroon which 
the Government considered inflammatory or defamatory. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The freedoms of assembly and association, while provided for 
in the Constitution, are restricted in practice and in law. 
The Cameroonian penal code prohibits public meetings, 
demonstrations, or processions without prior government 
approval, and organizations must register with the Government. 

The sole labor union, the Organization of Cameroonian Workers 
Union (OCWU) , operates within the framework of the official 
political party, and the top union leadership is chosen by the 
Government. Pursuant to its policy of democratization, the 
OCWU permitted multiple candidates in the worker delegate 
elections in November, but OCWU retained the right to approve 
candidacies in advance. The union does not play a major role 
in Cameroonian politics, although it has a membership of 
approximately 450,000 workers in a working population of more 
than 3 million. It pursues individual worker grievances and 
seeks improvements in government programs for worker safety 
and training. 

The OCWU participates in government-regulated labor 
negotiations, but strikes are illegal. Political activity by 
the trade union, excepting action designed to protect economic 
and other interests, is prohibited. The union maintains 
contact with foreign trade union organizations, notably the 
African-American Labor Center, but such contact reguires 
government authorization. Cameroon is a member of the 
International Labor Organization (ILO), and rank and file 
union members comprise the labor component of the Cameroonian 
delegation to its meetings. The union is also a member of the 
Organization of African Trade Union Unity. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Freedom of religion is provided for in the Constitution and is 
generally respected. In order for a religious group to exist 
and function legally, it must be approved and registered with 
the Ministry of Territorial Administration. On at least one 
occasion, the Ministry rejected an application from a small 
religious group on the ground that it was too nearly identical 
to an existing group. Roughly 20 percent of Cameroonians are 
Muslim, 30 percent Christian, and the rest animist. Officials 
of the Government and party are drawn from members of all 



42 



CAMEROON 

denominations. Missionaries played a major role in the 
development of Cameroon and continue to be active. 

However, the Jehovah's Witnesses, who do not acknowledge the 
supremacy of the state, were banned in 1970 and periodically 
have been targets of harassment since then, including 
imprisonment. In the most recent incident, a Jehovah's 
Witness, Augustine Kong, was reportedly sentenced to 2 years' 
imprisonment in June in an illegal border crossing case. 
Amnesty International, in its 1987 report (covering 1986) 
mentioned several specific cases involving the arrest of 
Jehovah's Witnesses, e.g., Andre Beygue Yakana, who was 
arrested in 1984 for attending an unofficial religious service 
in his home. Amnesty International adopted Yakana as a 
prisoner of conscience. 

Observance of traditional religions is not discouraged by the 
Government, although acts of witchcraft, magic, or divination 
"liable to disrupt public order or tranquility, or to harm 
persons or property" are outlawed with penalties of up to 10 
years' imprisonment. 

Independent Muslim and Christian publications exist in 
Cameroon, and there is no evidence that they are censored more 
heavily than the secular press. The exception, again, is the 
Jehovah's Witnesses, who are not allowed to publish or 
distribute their religious materials. 

d. Freedom of Movement within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Freedom of movement within the country is not restricted by 
law. In practice, however, police frequently stop travelers 
to check identification documents as a security and immigration 
control measure. Exit visas are required to leave the country 
and sometimes are obtainable only after long bureaucratic 
delays. In some cases, these delays may represent attempts by 
the Government to discourage or even prevent departure. The 
Government has also been known to refuse issuance of a 
passport, or to confiscate an already issued passport, in 
order to prevent someone from traveling abroad. Cameroonians 
who leave the country must deposit sums sufficient to buy a 
return air ticket for repatriation should they become stranded 
abroad. There are no restrictions on voluntary repatriation. 
Women must obtain the permission of their husbands or fathers 
to leave the country. 

Over the years, Cameroon has served as a safehaven for 
thousands of displaced persons and refugees. The Government 
currently acknowledges the presence of approximately 50,000 
Chadians in Cameroon, some 7,500 of whom have been recognized 
by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 
as political refugees and are living at the UNHCR camp at Poli. 
The remaining Chadians have integrated into the Cameroonian 
economy and do not receive government or international 
assistance. Cameroon is also host to refugees from South 
Africa, Zaire, Angola, and other African nations, and there 
are approximately 100 Namibians in Cameroon as students. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Cameroon continues to be a one-party state with political 
power and administrative responsibility concentrated in the 
presidency. While the Constitution implies the legality of 



43 



CAMEROON 

other political parties, in fact, only one party, the CPDM, is 
currently permitted, and therefore citizens cannot change the 
party in power through the electoral process. On June 26, 
1986, the Cameroon Supreme Court ruled against the latest 
attempt by Dr. Joseph Sende to gain legal recognition for the 
Union des Populations du Cameroun (UPC), the second time under 
the Biya Government that the Supreme Court rejected Sende * s 
plea. As before, the Court denied Sende on the ground that he 
is an active member of the CPDM. No one attempted to gain 
legal recognition of a second political party in 1987. 
Although the election law theoretically permits multiple 
candidates for the presidency. President Biya ran unopposed in 
the January 1984 elections and received 99.98 percent of the 
votes. The President appoints all governors, prefects, and 
cabinet ministers. 

Cameroon's political system is a product of the country's 
ethnic and linguistic diversity, which includes some 230 
languages and 3 separate European traditions (French, British, 
and German). Both French and English are official languages, 
although some Anglophones allege political discrimination by 
the majority Francophones. A careful balancing act, within 
the one party, is required to maintain political cohesion. 
Membership in the CPDM is open to all religious and ethnic 
groups. While the party remains essentially a centrally 
controlled organization, it is gradually broadening itself 
pursuant to the program adopted by the 1985 CPDM Congress. 
Local party meetings held throughout the country in 1986 were 
aimed at encouraging the use of the party for two-way 
communication between the people and the Government. The 
first open municipal elections with multiple candidacies were 
held on October 25, 1987, and a 1987 law provides for multiple 
candidacies for the 1988 National Assembly elections as well. 

Externally based dissident groups, including the Union des 
Populations du Cameroun (Francophone) and the Cameroon 
Democratic Party (Anglophone), periodically send letters or 
pamphlets into the country. The Government attempts to seize 
these documents when they arrive. A number of former UPC 
members are now active in the CPDM. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

Under President Biya, the Government has given increased 
attention to human rights issues, both internally as a part of 
President Biya's program of "democratization" and in public 
statements in forums such as the United Nations. 

The Government of Cameroon does not publicly acknowledge or 
respond to investigations of alleged violations of human 
rights by nongovernmental organizations (e.g.. Amnesty 
International) . 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Access to the Government's social programs is open to all 
Cameroonian citizens on a nondiscriminatory basis. Girls made 
up 45.5 percent of elementary students in 1984-85, the last 
school year for which statistics are available. Women are 
underprivileged, both in access to higher education and in 
terms of professional opportunities. Girls from the southern 
part of the country, although disadvantaged at the secondary 



44 



CAMEROON 

education level when compared with boys from the same areas; 
have a considerable educational lead over girls and boys from 
the eastern and northern provinces. One of the goals of the 
sixth 5-year plan for economic, social, and cultural 
development is to improve educational opportunities for women. 

Women are promised equal rights under the Constitution and are 
politically active in the party and the sole labor union. The 
women's wing of the party has developed programs aimed at 
encouraging the economic and social productivity of 
Cameroonian women. Women are represented in the modern 
sector, although not proportionately in the upper levels of 
administration and in the professions. There are some women 
in the armed forces. There are currently five women in 
President Biya's Government but no women governors or prefects, 
As a result of the 1983 legislative elections, the percentage 
of women in the National Assembly increased from 10 to 14. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The Cameroonian National Labor Code sets the minimum working 
age at 14, the minimum annual paid vacation at 18 days, and 
the legal workweek at 40 hours for nonagricultural employees 
and up to 48 hours per week for agricultural workers. In 
order to make room for younger workers, civil servants are 
being encouraged to retire upon reaching the minimum 
retirement age of 55. Minimum monthly wages are set by the 
Government for all public and private sector jobs. Wage rates 
are based on geographic zones, types of industry, and 
qualifications of workers and length of service. The lowest 
wages are insufficient to support a family but, in most cases, 
they are supplemented by a second job or another family 
member's earnings. Workers with middle-range wages are also 
likely to need second incomes to support a family, especially 
in Yaounde and Douala. Because of Cameroon's relatively 
healthy economy, workers have opportunities to supplement 
their wages with second jobs. Occupational health and safety 
is mandated by law, based on ILO standards. In theory, these 
standards are enforced by inspectors of the Ministry of Labor, 
but they lack the means for effective enforcement. 



45 



CAPE VERDE 



Cape Verde is ruled by the African Party for the Independence 
of Cape Verde (PAICV), the country's sole political party, 
under the leadership of President Aristides Pereira. Most 
government ministers are also senior members of the party, and 
many of them were leaders of the revolutionary movement to 
free Cape Verde from Portuguese rule. The PAICV is officially 
open to anyone wishing to join, and membership, about 4 percent 
of the voting population, has doubled in the 11 years since 
independence. The Constitution adopted in 1980 declares the 
party "the supreme expression of the interests of the popular 
masses." Members of the Popular National Assembly, which is 
formally the supreme organ of the State, are elected from a 
slate of candidates which is proposed to the electorate by the 
party. The Assembly selects the President, who, as Head of 
State, proposes the Prime Minister to the Assembly. While the 
Assembly does not reverse government/party decisions, deputies 
debate issues openly, and critical views are often reported in 
the media. 

Security responsibilities, which had been divided between the 
military, the security, and police forces, were combined into 
a single government department in February 1986. The 
reorganized Ministry of Defense and Security operates under 
guidelines and leadership approved by the party. 

Cape Verde has few natural resources, and for years Cape 
Verdeans have emigrated to improve their economic condition. 
(Over 350,000 live abroad.) Cape Verde's development efforts 
for its population of 320,000 have been further hindered by a 
19-year drought which has severely affected employment 
possibilities for the rural population and seriously diminished 
water supplies. Nonetheless, there has been no starvation 
since independence, which can be attributed to generous 
foreign assistance, remittances from Cape Verdean emigrants, 
and efficient management by the Government. Heavy summer 
rains in 1987 may signal the end of the drought and hold the 
promise of improvements in the agricultural sector. The 
Government is the largest nonagr icultural employer. It 
controls banking, the import of most basic commodities, 
airlines, the press, and schools. Private property rights are 
respected. There is a substantial and growing private sector 
which includes shops, hotels, farms, fishing, small industries 
(such as tuna canning), and the professions. 

Human rights were generally respected in Cape Verde during 
1987. However, there were unsubstantiated allegations of 
certain human rights abuses, including the use of temporary 
detention to suppress antigovernment views in a series of 
articles in a Catholic monthly newspaper. The beating death 
of a young man while in police detention was reported in 
November. Responsible police officials were relieved of their 
duties and detained to be tried. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reported instances of politically motivated 
deaths . 



46 

CAPE VERDE 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reported instances of officially inspired 
disappearances . 



c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

In November a young man was beaten to death while in detention 
in a local jail on Brava Island. The government press made a 
full report of the incident, and the policeman responsible, 
along with his superior officer, was put under detention to be 
tried according to the law. There was no other evidence of 
torture or other cruel and unusual punishment of prisoners and 
detainees, although unsubstantiated allegations of 
"concentration-camp conditions" in prisons appeared in a local 
monthly newspaper. Conditions in prisons are indeed poor and 
detention facilities antiquated, except in Praia where a new 
prison facility was recently completed. Cape Verde is the 
only country in Africa where capital punishment has been 
outlawed. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Some reports surfaced during 1987 of persons being detained 
and tried for the expression of views critical of or different 
from those of the Government. In all known cases, such persons 
were charged with disturbing the peace or demonstrating without 
permission. Jail sentences in these instances were waived or 
very light. 

Cape Verde law requires that an accused person, unless caught 
in the act of committing a crime, be brought before a judge to 
be charged within 48 hours of arrest. In exceptional cases, 
with the concurrence of a court official, the formal charge 
process may be delayed, but it still must take place within 5 
days of arrest. For crimes against state security, however, 
persons may be detained for up to 5 months without trial upon 
a judge's ruling. There is a functioning system of bail, and 
everyone is entitled to representation by an attorney in civil 
or criminal cases. Those unable to afford legal counsel are 
represented by lawyers named by the state-run Lawyers' 
Association. 

There were no known instances of forced exile for political or 
other reasons. Forced labor is not practiced. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

There are no known political prisoners. 

The judicial system is composed of a Supreme Court, whose 
members are appointed by the Government, regional courts, and 
local popular courts. Trials are conducted by one judge 
without a jury. The autonomous Institute for Judiciary 
Support, to which all private lawyers belong, provides counsel 
for defendants in cases of need. Trials appear to be handled 
expeditiously, and most evidence suggests that the courts 
protect individual rights in criminal cases. Verdicts can be 
appealed. 

The popular tribunals adjudicate minor disputes on a local 
level in rural areas. The "judges," who are appointees of the 
Ministry of Justice, are usually prominent local citizens 



47 



CAPE VERDE 

without legal training. Their decisions can be appealed 
within the regular court system. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The Constitution recognizes citizens' rights to the 
inviolability of domicile, correspondence, and other means of 
communication. The law requires warrants issued by a judge 
before searches of homes may be conducted. There were no 
known cases of arbitrary interference with privacy, family, 
home, or correspondence during 1987. The Constitution also 
contains the provision that every citizen has the right and 
the duty to participate in the political, economic, and 
cultural life of the country. This provision theoretically 
could be used to force a person's participation in activities 
against his or her will. In practice, there is no evidence to 
suggest that this provision has been so used. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Constitution proclaims freedom of speech and intellectual 
creativity, including the rights of authorship, but it also 
stipulates that none of these rights and freedoms may be 
exercised "contrary to national unity." While freedom of the 
press is not a specific constitutional guarantee, a law 
adopted in December 1985 assures citizens the right to express 
their thoughts in the press, but at the same time the party 
underlined that this right should be exercised responsibly. 

The weekly newspaper, radio, and television are government 
owned and follow government policies. Occasional articles 
critical of some aspects of government policy are printed or 
broadcast, but this is probably done with prior authorization 
from the Government. Local radio broadcasts carry items from 
Western agencies as well as from Communist countries, generally 
balancing coverage and identifying sources on controversial 
international issues. 

The Catholic Church's monthly newspaper, which has carried 
criticism of some aspects of life in Cape Verde, is tolerated 
without interference as long as its articles are not viewed as 
a threat to the Government. On occasion, the editor and 
contributors have been called before tribunals to explain their 
articles. There were no reprisals against the newspaper for 
its series of articles on human rights abuses. 

Foreign periodicals generally circulate freely in Cape Verde 
even when they contain articles critical of or unflattering to 
the Government, as is sometimes the case with Portuguese 
newspapers. International radio broadcasts are received 
clearly without interference. Almost all movies shown are 
nonpolitical in content, and some are occasionally censored on 
moral grounds. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The freedom to meet, to associate freely, and to demonstrate 
is provided for in the Constitution. As a practical matter, 
however, no organizations opposed to the Government or its 
policies are permitted. Private associations other than 
sports clubs or religious youth groups do not exist. The 
establishment of such associations would be subject to 



48 



CAPE VERDE 

government authorization. Party-sponsored "mass organizations" 
of women and youth are prominent. 

Demonstrations occurred in 1987, supported in part by the 
Catholic Church, protesting such things as new abortion 
legislation and educational reforms. Several small rallies by 
students and unemployed youth in Cape Verde's second largest 
city also occurred. Some participants in these demonstrations 
were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace and 
demonstrating without permission. They were subsequently 
released or given light jail sentences. 

Workers in several sectors are organized into unions within 
the National Union Confederation (NUC) . The Confederation is 
affiliated with the PAICV and headed by a high-ranking party 
member. About one-third of the active work force are nominal 
members. Individual unions perform some traditional trade 
union functions and act also as party affiliates. There is no 
reference to strikes or the right to strike in the Constitution 
or in any legislation. In the absence of any legal prohibition 
against strikes, the NUC believes that the right to strike 
exists, but it has never been exercised. Union leadership has 
taken positions on specific issues in opposition to government 
policies in state enterprises. The NUC participates in the 
International Labor Organization and is affiliated with the 
Organization of African Trade Union Unity, but has not taken 
positions independent of those officially sanctioned by the 
Government. It maintains contact with and receives assistance 
from both Communist and non-Communist national unions abroad. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

The Constitution requires separation of church and state. 
Freedom of worship is respected by the Government, and members 
of all faiths practice their religion without harassment. At 
least two-thirds of the population, probably including most of 
the government leadership, are nominally Catholic, but the 
dominance of Catholicism does not appear to affect adversely 
other faiths. Evangelical Protestants and Seventh-Day 
Adventists are the two other principal religious communities. 

At least two faiths, the Baha'i and "Christian Rationalism," 
which were formally banned or suppressed under the Portuguese, 
have been permitted to reestablish themselves and operate 
freely since independence. There are no restrictions on 
religious practices, teaching, or contacts with coreligionists 
outside Cape Verde. The Catholic Church, for example, openly 
opposes birth control methods which are advocated and 
supported by the Government. A few foreign missionaries are 
active in Cape Verde, and more than half the Catholic clergy 
are non-Cape Verdeans. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

There are no extraordinary legal or administrative restrictions 
on either travel or residence within the country. All resident 
Cape Verdeans wishing to leave the country, either temporarily 
or permanently, must obtain exit permission from the 
Government. Such permission has not been denied for political 
reasons. Emigration has long been an important and recognized 
escape valve from prevailing harsh economic conditions. The 
Government goes to considerable effort to maintain close 
contact with emigre communities and provides every opportunity 
for Cape Verdeans living abroad to maintain their ties with 



49 



CAPE VERDE 

the homeland, including making provision to vote in elections. 
Repatriation is a constitutional right, and the Government 
does not discourage intending repatriates. 

The law allows for revocation of citizenship on several 
grounds, including activities contrary to the interest of the 
country. However, there are no known cases of the Government 
instituting proceedings to deprive persons of citizenship for 
political reasons. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The party's monopoly of power in Cape Verde is inscribed in 
the Constitution. Opposition parties are illegal and do not 
exist. Therefore, citizens are unable to change the one-party 
political system through democratic means. The small group of 
men who actually led the struggle for independence occupy 
positions of leadership in both the party and the Government. 
The Secretary General of the party is President of the 
Republic, the Deputy Secretary General is Prime Minister, and 
the third-ranking party official is President of the National 
Assembly. Five other members of the party's Political 
Commission are also Ministers. Not all ministers or 
secretaries of state are party members, but all clearly serve 
at the pleasure of the party. 

Current party membership is about 6,000, which is about 
4 percent of the total adult population and represents a 
doubling in size since independence in 1975. Within this 
elitist party, there exists a modest scope for meaningful 
political activity. The delegates to the Second Party 
Congress in 1983, and the leadership itself, were elected by 
secret ballot with some unexpected changes in the order of 
precedence for various ministers. The party leadership also 
made an obvious effort to give women and persons with less 
solid revolutionary credentials more prominent roles. 
However, women, who comprise 14 percent of the total party 
membership, remain underrepresented. The party membership is 
young (47 percent under 30 years of age), disproportionately 
urban (50 percent in a nation which is two-thirds rural), and 
heavily representative of the bureaucracy (25 percent of party 
members are civil servants or employees of state enterprises). 

National Assembly elections were last held in December 1985. 
A single slate of candidates, all of whom were either party 
members or nominees with party approval, was presented to 
voters. The final list of candidates was selected after three 
stages of local consultations, during which as many as four 
candidates--not necessarily party members--were discussed for 
each seat. As a result of this winnowing process, several 
prominent nonparty candidates won party approval and election 
to the Assembly. Twice-yearly Assembly sessions serve to 
ratify earlier party/government decisions, but issues are 
debated openly with critical interventions reported in the 
media, and voting on these issues is far from unanimous. 
Motions introduced by the Government are not always adopted. 
Deputies criticize government policies and decisions, but 
policy decisions already made by the Council of Ministers are 
not reversed. 



50 



CAPE VERDE 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government in the past has permitted visits by private 
organizations to investigate conditions of persons convicted 
for political or related offenses. There are no known 
instances in which the Government has been the subject of 
resolutions, investigations, or other human rights actions by 
official international organizations. Allegations of human 
rights abuses have been made by a few Cape Verdeans living 
abroad and by a locally published Catholic newspaper, but no 
violations have ever been proved. There are no known official 
or nongovernmental human rights organizations in the country, 
although the Lawyers' Association for the Provision of 
Judicial Support performs some of the functions of such an 
organization . 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The country has made substantial strides in providing health 
care, education, and other services to the population. Racial 
discrimination is not a problem in Cape Verde, where the vast 
majority of the population shares various proportions of 
Portuguese and African ancestry. Sex discrimination exists, 
although it is banned by the Constitution. Many traditional 
male-oriented values of the Portuguese and African ancestors 
of today's Cape Verdeans are still part of the country's 
culture. The Code of the Family, enacted in October 1981, 
prescribes the full equality of men and women in law, including 
equal pay for equal work, but in practice women have been 
customarily excluded from certain types of employment and are 
often paid less than men. Both the Government and the party 
are making efforts to bring women into various economic and 
social activities where they have been traditionally absent. 
The Government has included women in the labor-intensive 
economic development projects financed by foreign grants. The 
Organization of Cape Verdean Women was founded in 1980, with 
party encouragement, to sensitize the Government and Cape 
Verdeans in general to issues affecting women. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Minimum wages are established by the Government for both civil 
servants and private enterprises. As of January 1, 1987, the 
minimum wage for civil servants was approximately $84 per 
month. Wages for unskilled workers are considerably lower, 
and in rural areas the daily minimum for the least skilled 
types of labor is about $1.62 per day. The minimum age for 
employment is 14, and children under 16 are prohibited from 
working at night, more than 7 hours per day, or in 
establishments where toxic products are used. All enterprises 
submit a yearly report to the Director General of Labor with 
information on salary and ages of each employee. This 
provides the Government with a vehicle for controlling 
employment practices. There does not appear to be an overall 
safety and health code, although some regulations exist in 
this area. The normal workweek for adults is 44 hours over 
5-1/2 days. A worker is entitled to at least 1 free day per 
week. These regulations seem to be respected in practice. 



51 



CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 



General Andre Dieudonne Kolingba has headed the Government 
since his accession to power in a bloodless coup on September 
1, 1981. He holds all political power and is the final 
arbiter on all government matters, but he has permitted some 
increased popular participation in the political process, 
particularly on local questions. In 1986 President Kolingba 
announced plans for the creation of a single national 
political party--the Central African Democratic Assembly 
(RDC) . Later that year, he introduced a new Constitution 
which was subsequently approved in a national referendum on 
November 21, 1986. He was also elected to a 6-year term as 
President in that vote. The new Constitution provides for a 
bicameral Parliament which includes a National Assembly and an 
Economic and Regional Council, representing the principal 
economic and regional sectors of the country. General 
elections were held on July 31, 1987 for the 52 seats in the 
National Assembly. One-half of the delegates of the Economic 
and Regional Council will be selected by the President, while 
the other half will be elected by the members of the National 
Assembly. 

The Minister of Interior is in charge of the civilian police 
force (gendarmerie). These police normally man barriers on 
the major roads and keep records of the movement of vehicles. 
The Presidency has its own security force, which has 
collateral responsibility with the border police for airport 
security. The Ministry of Defense also has a military police 
force (gendarmarie national), in addition to the armed forces 
which number about 3,800 soldiers. 

The Central African Republic is a poor, landlocked, and 
sparsely populated country. Most of its inhabitants derive 
their livelihood from subsistence agriculture. Only about 1 
percent of the population is university educated. The 
essentially free enterprise, agrarian economy, one of the 
world's least monetized, has suffered in the past from 
inadequately coordinated and implemented government policies, 
occasional drought, and a poorly trained work force. 
Expatriates dominate the small manufacturing and commercial 
sectors of the economy. 

There was some improvement in the human rights situation in 
1987. In particular, the 7-month trial of former emperor 
Jean-Bedel Bokassa in a civilian court dominated the 1987 
headlines. Bokassa, who received the death sentence, had four 
defense lawyers--two Central African and two French--and was 
given ample time for preparing his defense, calling and 
cross-examining witnesses, and presenting his version of 
events in open sessions. The trial was fully reported in the 
local news media, including full television replays each 
evening, and in the international press. This long trial set 
a precedent in Africa in recording abuses of limitless power. 
At the end of 1987, the Supreme Court was reviewing technical 
aspects of the trial. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of killing or summary executions for 
political motives by government forces. However, the 



52 



CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 

Government again faced sporadic challenges from dissidents in 
the northwest corner of the country, although at a much 
reduced level from previous years. In the action, the army 
reportedly killed two rebels near Paoua in May, and guerrillas 
killed a village mayor from the same region in late July. 
Some reports allege that the two dissidents killed near Paoua 
might have been attempting to negotiate a surrender. In the 
northeast. Central African military forces ambushed a large 
band of "poachers" in May, killing some and arresting others. 
Also in this region a dissident group killed a gendarmerie 
commander from Birao in a shoot-out in March. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearance. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The penal code prohibits torture and provides for sanctions 
against persons guilty of physical abuse. There are 
infrequent reports of beatings in prisons, where conditions 
are generally harsh and medical attention is sometimes 
inadequate. However, family members, legal counsel, doctors, 
and clergy generally have access to prisoners. It is not 
uncommon for selected prisoners, including prominent political 
detainees, to receive special privileges, including permission 
to leave the prison periodically. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

In the past, the Government has frequently detained suspected 
opponents without charge or trial. In 1986 according to 
Amnesty International's 1987 report, "few arrests of 
opposition political party supporters were reported in 
comparison to previous years." This trend continued in 1987. 
While some political detainees were still being held at the 
end of 1987, it is difficult to say precisely how many. 

Under local law, political detainees can be held without 
charge for as long as 2 months, but at that point detainees 
must either be formally charged or released. If they are 
charged, local judicial procedures (which are modeled on 
French procedures) allow for open-ended preventive detention 
while the public prosecutor prepares the State's case against 
the accused. In practice, some political detainees are held 
much longer than 2 months without formal charges being brought 
against them. In the case of common criminals, the law 
requires that they be brought within 96 hours before a 
magistrate who decides whether formal charges will be filed. 
Approximately five well-known political opponents live in 
exile. Several of them have been sentenced to death in 
absentia for crimes against the State. 

The Government has been cited by the International Labor 
Organization (ILO) for being in violation of ILO Conventions 
29 and 105 for allegedly imposing compulsory labor on prisoners 
jailed for unauthorized political activities. However, the 
ILO case dates back to the early 1980's, and there are no 
reports since then of political prisoners being forced to 
perform compulsory labor. There is a local penal practice 
called "corvee," which administratively (and virtually 
automatically) sentences men without proper identification 
papers to 2 days' labor — usually clearing roadside weeds. 



53 



CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

In most cases involving common criminals, the Government 
permits French-modeled legal procedures to be fairly and 
openly applied and the laws to be properly executed. The new 
Constitution continues the provisions of the constitutional 
decree of September 21, 1985, which states that the judiciary 
"is guaranteed independence (from) the legislative and 
executive (power)." However, the President is the guarantor 
of that independence, notably in his role as "President of the 
Supreme Magistrative Council." 

A Special Tribunal comprising civilian magistrates and 
military advisers adjudicates political cases. The Special 
Tribunal differs from ordinary courts in that there is no 
appeal process although the possibility of presidential 
clemency does exist. Trials must be specifically authorized 
by the President. Political detainees have a right to legal 
counsel at all stages in the formal procedures before the 
Special Tribunal. Trials are open to the public, and the 
proceedings are often reported in the local media. President 
Kolingba has authorized the meeting of the Special Tribunal on 
a fairly frequent basis. 

On October 23, 1986, former emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa 
unexpectedly returned to the Central African Republic from his 
exile in France. Bokassa, who was sentenced to death in 
absentia in 1980 for crimes including murder, cannibalism, and 
embezzlement, was immediately detained on his return. 
Subsequently the 1980 verdict was annulled, and he was retried 
in the Bangui Criminal Court. Of the 14 charges against him, 
he was found guilty of 4--complicity in assassination, arrest 
and imprisonment of children, arbitrary arrest and 
sequestration, and diversion of public funds and goods--and 
sentenced to death. At the end of 1987, the proceedings were 
undergoing judicial review by the Supreme Court, which has the 
right to overturn the verdict if technical flaws are found in 
the trial. Lacking that, only presidential clemency remains 
as a means of changing the sentence. 

The number of political prisoners is unknown. Major Gregoire 
Miango, a prominent political prisoner arrested in late 1983 
and released on April 14, 1986, remains restricted to his home 
town, where he currently resides with his family. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

With the significant exception of political and security 
matters, the Government does not normally interfere in the 
private lives of citizens. The law formally prohibits the 
invasion of the home without a warrant, and this prohibition 
is not generally abused in civil and minor criminal cases. 
However, if a political crime is involved. Ordinance 81/035, 
which instituted the Special Tribunal, authorizes searches at 
any time and at any place. These searches have been conducted 
without specific warrants. There is no forced membership in 
the RDC--the only legal party. There is no interference with 
the right to marry or have children as one chooses. Parents 
are free to teach their children religious beliefs and 
practices, with the exception of the Jehovah's Witnesses 
(Section 2 . c) . 



54 



CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The right to speak publicly about political developments or to 
criticize the Government is circumscribed although most people 
feel free to comment privately on political affairs. The 
Government prohibits the distribution of tracts and literature 
deemed to be subversive. A Central African journalist working 
for the Government, Thomas Kwazo, was sentenced in August to 
prison for an article he filed with a foreign press service, 
without the approval of his supervisor in the Ministry of 
Communication, about an alleged meeting between President 
Kolingba and ex-emperor Bokassa. 

Since July 1, 1986, there has been only one regularly 
published newspaper, which, along with others that appear 
sporadically, is carefully monitored by the Government. Radio 
and television are also controlled by the Government. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Despite Constitutional guarantees of the right to assembly, 
only assemblies of a nonpolitical nature can take place 
without government approval. Government forces guickly 
disband unlawful assemblies and in some instances participants 
have been arrested. Groups that register with the Department 
of the Interior can hold meetings. (Also see Section 3.) 

In May 1981, former President David Dacko suspended the 
General Union of Central African Workers, and no effective 
labor movement has existed in the country since that time. 
The Kolingba Government, which came to power in September of 
that year, never rescinded this suspension. The Government 
tacitly approves of an apolitical labor federation that exists 
mostly on paper and has no collective bargaining authority. 
The ILO has a case pending before it involving the Central 
African Republic's alleged violations of the right to freedom 
of association under ILO Convention 87. The Government has 
yet to provide the substantive information reguested by the 
ILO committee reviewing the case. 

The right to strike exists in principle, although fear of 
government reprisals has dampened the enthusiasm of potential 
strikers. In response to a month-long student strike in 
March-April 1986, the Government has banned boycotts of 
classes and all demonstrations by school children and 
university students, except for those authorized by the 
Ministry of the Interior. Those violating this prohibition 
face up to a 3-year prison term. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

With one notable exception, the Government does not generally 
interfere with religious activities. Religious organizations 
and missionary groups are provided religious freedom by 
Central African custom. No single religion predominates, nor 
does the Government appear to discriminate in favor of or 
against specific religions. 

There was a major departure from the Government's policy of 
noninterference in religious activities when the Minister of 
the Interior formally prohibited the activities of the 
Jehovah's Witnesses in February 1986. This decree was aimed 
primarily against the foreign missionary Jehovah's Witnesses 



55 



CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 

who had refused to participate in government-sponsored 
activities or to encourage allegiance to the Government. As a 
result, most foreign missionary Jehovah's Witnesses have left 
the country, and the four who remain avoid proselytizing, 
limiting their activities to administrative matters. 
Native-born adherents to the sect continue to meet and worship 
and have not experienced official interference for the past 
year. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

People are generally free to move about within the country, 
although there are road checkpoints and periodic civil 
conflict in the north. The right of voluntary travel and 
repatriation is recognized. Financial and educational 
constraints rather than government controls act to restrict 
most foreign travel and emigration. No case of revocation of 
citizenship was reported in 1987. 

The country remains relatively hospitable to foreigners; the 
largest foreign population living either temporarily or 
permanently in the country is from Chad. Approximately 10,000 
Chadians live in Bangui, where they are generally engaged in 
small commerce, and along the northern border area, where they 
are engaged in farming and cattle herding. Due to the 
increase in political stability in Chad during the past 2 
years, most of the nearly 45,000 Chadian refugees living in 
the Central African Republic in 1984 and 1985 were voluntarily 
repatriated in 1985 and 1986. As of late 1987, the total 
Chadian refugee population in the Central African Republic was 
less than 3,000. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Citizens do not have the right to change their government. 
However, since 1984, Kolingba has progressively reduced the 
military presence in favor of a civilian government, presently 
composed of 18 ministers, 5 secretaries of state, and 5 high 
commissioners. Although in practice he allows his Cabinet 
considerable leeway in the day-to-day activities of government 
administration, he makes all important policy decisions. 

The 1986 Constitution calls for a Parliament consisting of a 
National Assembly and an Economic and Regional Council. For 
the first time since he took power in 1981, Kolingba in 1987 
allowed public and private assembly for political purposes 
when 142 candidates for the newly created National Assembly 
were given 2 weeks to campaign for 52 seats--3 from each of 
the 16 prefectures and 4 from Bangui. Although the candidates 
were vetted by the Ministry of the Interior before they were 
eilowed to run, they were not required to be RDC members, and 
there is no indication any potential candidates were prevented 
for political reasons from running. Election results were 
announced on August 8, 1987 for all but two prefectures. 
While the delay in the northeastern province of Vakaga was due 
to transportation difficulties, voters returned to the polls 
on August 30, 1987 in the Nana-Mambere region as the first 
election was marred by irregularities. The results from these 
two prefectures were announced subsequently. 



-779 0-88-3 



56 



CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government does not welcome international or 
nongovernmental investigation of alleged human rights abuses 
but does not prohibit such investigations. Representatives of 
Amnesty International and the International Committee of the 
Red Cross visit Bangui periodically. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

There are more than 80 ethnic groups in the Central African 
Republic, each with its own language. About 70 percent are 
Baya-Mandjia and Banda. While President Kolingba appears to 
desire an ethnic balance in his Cabinet, preference for high 
government positions has occasionally been given to members of 
his Yakoma ethnic group (approximately 10 percent of the 
population) . 

The Constitution mandates that all persons are equal before 
the law without regard to race, ethnic origin, region, sex, or 
religion. The law notwithstanding, women have traditionally 
been accorded a lower status than men. For example, there is 
less emphasis on the importance of education for women, which 
is reflected in the low literacy level of the adult female 
population (19 percent), as compared with the adult male 
population (49 percent). The requirements of their work at 
home and in the fields prevent many women from receiving any 
formal education. 

Although polygamy is common, the legal system and traditional 
practice support the rights of the wives and all children of 
such marriages. A national women's organization exists and is 
supported by the Government. While there are no women 
ministers, secretaries of state, or high commissioners in the 
Kolingba Government, four women were candidates in the July 
1987 legislative elections. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Employment of children under 14 years of age is forbidden by 
law. While it is only loosely enforced, jobs are in such 
demand that children in the labor force are generally limited 
to working as helpers in family businesses, such as selling 
food products or cigarettes. 

Minimum wages have been established by the Government, and a 
social security system exists. The minimum wage for a manual 
laborer, for example, is about $40 per month, and about $140 
per month for a stenotypist. However, much labor is performed 
outside the wage and social security system, especially in the 
large subsistence agricultural sector, and probably does not 
meet the established minimum levels. The law sets maximum 
working hours for government employees and most people in the 
private sector at 40 hours per week. Domestic employees may 
work up to 55 hours. There are also general laws of health 
and safety standards in the work place, but they are neither 
precisely defined nor actively enforced. 



57 



CHAD 



The Chadian Government is led by President Hissein Habre, who 
came to power in 1982 in the course of a protracted civil 
war. Relying upon the armed forces as his power base, Mr. 
Habre heads the Council of Ministers which, along with an 
appointed National Consultative Council, comprises the 
executive and legislative branches of the Government. The 
multiethnic National Union for Independence and Revolution 
(UNIR) was created in 1984 to broaden Habre' s political base, 
and in 1987 it remained the only officially recognized 
political party. At present, there is no constitution. Laws, 
decrees, and ordinances are proposed, in accordance with the 
Fundamental Act of 1982, by the President and the Council of 
Ministers and discussed by the National Consultative Council 
prior to promulgation. 

In 1987 President Habre continued a policy of national 
reconciliation under which exiled members of former opposition 
groups have been encouraged to return to the country and those 
who remained in Chad persuaded to return to legality. Many of 
these former opponents, including some who were in armed 
conflict with the Government as recently as 2 years ago, have 
been brought into the civil service and army, several at the 
ministerial level. However, a number of exiles who returned 
to Chad in 1986 and 1987 were arrested or disappeared. 

In October 1986, the bulk of the GUNT (Transitional Government 
of National Unity) forces, which previously had been loyal to 
GUNT leader Goukouni Oueddei, rallied to President Habre' s 
banner, following Goukouni ' s break with Libya's Mu'ammar 
Qadhafi, and were integrated into the national army. In a 
series of battles beginning in early January 1987, the Chadian 
army defeated its Libyan and few remaining dissident enemies. 
By September the army had liberated over 90 percent of the 
northern Chadian territory formerly under Libyan military 
occupation. At the end of 1987, Libyan forces remained only 
in the so-called Aozou Strip, and an OAU-sponsored cease-fire 
had been in effect for over 3 months. The OAU Ad Hoc 
Committee on The Border Dispute Between Libya and Chad 
continued to seek a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but 
prospects for success were not high. 

Chad is desperately poor, and its estimated population of 4.5 
million has one of the lowest per capita annual incomes ($178) 
in the world. Cotton is the major source of Chad's export 
earnings and in the past has produced most of the Government's 
revenues. Approximately 40 percent of Chadians who work for 
wages are employed in the cotton sector. Since 1985 world 
cotton prices have been disastrously low, and in 1987 price 
support costs for cotton far exceeded income from export 
sales. The Government relies heavily on foreign aid, 
especially from France, to finance current government 
operations and to fund development projects. 

Chad's 22-year-long civil war and now its war against Libya 
produced conditions in which human rights often have been 
violated by the forces in conflict. Chad remains on a war 
footing, and tight governmental controls restrict basic 
freedoms, e.g., press and assembly. However, with almost all 
of inhabited Chad now free of Libyan forces, violence has 
subsided; violation of human rights due to war largely ended 
in 1987. The occasional excesses of uncontrolled, marauding 
soldiers are now the exception rather than the rule. 



58 



CHAD 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

Precise information on possible extrajudicial executions by 
government and Libyan/dissident forces was not available. 
There were no verified instances of government-instigated 
political killings in 1987. 

Seven political killings that reportedly occurred in 1985 
first came to light in 1987. According to Amnesty 
International, the victims included two members of armed 
opposition groups, two persons with ties to an opposition 
group called the Democratic Revolutionary Council, and three 
former supporters of opposition groups who had voluntarily 
returned to Chad. Most were allegedly arrested by members of 
the Chadian Security Service (DDS) or the Presidential 
Security Service (SP), and were summarily executed. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reported disappearances during 1987. In its 
1987 Report (covering 1986), Amnesty International, however, 
expressed concern that the Government had failed in 1986 to 
account for a number of people who "disappeared" after being 
detained in previous years, and who were reported mostly to 
have been executed extrajudicially by government security 
forces. One case, that of Felix Ekeh, a Nigerian citizen, 
became the subject of Chadian-Nigerian discussions. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There were no confirmed reports of torture of prisoners in 
Chad during 1987, although Amnesty International reported the 
probable torture and death of Abdoulaye Awidjeli Bichara in 
1986. According to eyewitness testimony, Bichara was left 
unattended in the courtyard of DDS headquarters in serious 
physical condition, apparently as the result of torture, and 
died. Chadian authorities have not confirmed his death. 

There were also allegations in 1987 that the Presidential 
guards used beatings, detentions, and other forms of 
intimidation as a means of maintaining security in parts of 
Guera prefecture; an armed Hadjerai insurrection movement 
there has ambushed and killed numbers of these Presidential 
guards . 

Prison conditions in Chad are generally poor. Most Chadian 
prison personnel have had no professional training, and abuses 
in handling prisoners are not uncommon. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Individuals who express views critical of or different from 
those of the Government are often regarded as endangering the 
security of the State and may be subject to indefinite 
detention without trial. The total number of detainees, as 
distinct from prisoners of war, is not known. However, a 
number of people, primarily members of a clan of the Hadjerai 
tribe, were arrested on security grounds in 1987 and remained 
in detention without charge or prospects of trial. The 
Government frequently holds such detainees incommunicado. 



59 



CHAD 

Saleh Gaba, a Chadian journalist and part-time reporter for 
the Associated Press and a local Roman Catholic radio station, 
was arrested in mid-July. After calls for his release by 
Amnesty International, the Government announced in late August 
that Gaba had been accused of killing two peasants. In 
December President Habre told reporters that Gaba had been 
captured with arms in his possession and that he would be 
tried for illegal possession of arms. At the end of the year 
Gaba was still being held incommunicado in an undisclosed 
location, and no trial date had been set. 

Despite President Habre's national reconciliation efforts. 
Amnesty International reported in September 1987 that it 
continued to receive reports of the detention by government 
security forces of former Chadian exiles upon their return to 
Chad. Three who were arrested in 1986, Hadja Merami, her 
daughter Azzina, and Mahamat Abdelbaqui, were believed to be 
still detained without charge at the end of 1987. Amnesty 
International also received reports of the detention without 
charge of relatives of government opponents. Two of them, 
Moussa Konate and Abdellatif Tidjani, may still have been in 
detention at the end of 1987. Habre's principal rival, 
ex-President Goukouni Oueddei, remained in exile in 1987, 
demanding a restructuring of the Chadian army and of the sole 
legal political party, UNIR. 

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has been critical 
of Chad in the past for the use of forced labor. The 
Government is continuing discussions with the ILO on revising 
outdated labor laws which do not meet ILO norms, including the 
ILO's conventions on forced labor. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The regular Chadian judicial system (the Supreme Court and 
several lower courts) and criminal code have evolved from the 
body of law (Napoleonic Code) inherited from the former 
colonial power, France. In theory, this law incorporates 
safeguards against arbitrary arrests and provides for 
specified detainee rights, including the right to counsel and 
the right to be promptly informed of charges. In practice, 
armed conflict over more than 21 years has severely disrupted 
the legal system, but the Government has made efforts to 
reestablish civilian law enforcement in liberated areas, 
especially the operation of the regular courts. 

Whether accused of crimes or security offenses, most Chadians 
do not get speedy trials. Many are held for extended periods 
and then released without having come to trial, in part 
because of the rudimentary nature of the Chadian judicial 
system. There are only a few trained lawyers, judges, and 
other court personnel. Most of Chad's tribunals do not even 
have law books. The few trained judicial officials complain 
of a heavy backlog of cases. 

There is also a traditional system of law presided over by 
sultans and chiefs. This traditional system is generally 
effective and fair in resolving property and other civil 
disputes and in dealing with cases involving petty local 
crime. In theory, decisions in customary courts may be 
appealed to the regular courts. 



60 



CHAD 

f. Arbitary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Under Chadian law, homes may be searched only during the day 
and under authority of a warrant. In practice, however, there 
are many instances where this law has not been respected. 
Correspondence carried by people traveling overland in Chad is 
often checked by authorities at various points, but 
correspondence sent through the Chadian postal system is less 
likely to be subject to such controls. 

g. Violations of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts 

Over the years, there have been numerous reports of human 
rights abuses by all sides in the conflict, including reports 
of summary executions of prisoners and suspected opponents, 
kidnapings, and burning of villages and crops. The extent of 
Libyan human rights violations is unkown but is reported to be 
extensive. The Chadian Government has made repeated charges 
of Libyan human rights abuses, including poisoning wells and 
mistreating Chadian prisoners of war (POW's). In a public 
statement November 6, the International Committee of the Red 
Cross (ICRC) cited Libya for violating the 3rd Geneva 
Convention concerning treatment of prisoners of war. Earlier 
in 1987, the ICRC had cited Chad for showing Libyan POW's in 
public in violation of Article 13 of the Geneva Convention. 
There were reports that at least one Libyan soldier was 
executed by the Libyans after Chadian forces overran Libyan 
positions in northern Chad. 

Chad currently holds several hundred former members of armed 
factions opposed to the Government, as well as a large number 
of Libyan POW's. The Government considers them to be POW's 
rather than "political detainees." The Government permits 
representatives of the ICRC to visit regularly about 600 POW's 
captured before early 1986 who are mostly Chadian, but it 
steadfastly refuses to permit ICRC access to POW's who have 
been captured since 1986. Estimates of the number of recent 
captives range from 600 to 2,000. The Chadian Government 
states it will permit ICRC visits to Libyan POW's if Libya 
reciprocates. So far, Libya has refused ICRC access to any 
Chadian POW's held in Libya. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Under Chadian law, freedom of speech is assured, but in 
practice public or private statements that the authorities 
consider seditious may lead to arrest. There is no prior 
restraint on the publication or broadcast of information in 
Chad, but the few Chadian journalists, most of whom work for 
the government-controlled media, are careful not to criticize 
the Government or its policies. However, criticism of 
individual ministries or agencies of government and officials 
does appear from time to time. The government press also has 
criticized severely the continued existence of political 
groups loyal to leaders who rallied to the Government in 1986 
and 1987. 

The Government's treatment of foreign correspondents has been 
uneven. At times the foreign press was given free access to 
officials and, despite the conflict, correspondents were 
allowed to file their stories with no prior censorship. At 
other times, foreign correspondents were denied visas for 



61 



CHAD 

entry into Chad or expelled from the country for no apparent 
reason and, on a few occasions, have had to submit their 
stories for government approval. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Freedom of assembly and association is restricted. Chadians 
may assemble peacefully only as long as the purpose of the 
meeting is not opposed to government policies. Membership in 
UNIR is voluntary. Although President Habre is intent on 
having a single mass political movement to which all Chadians 
will belong, he refrained in 1987 from forcing the dissolution 
of a number of former opposition political groupings, such as 
those associated with southern factions. 

Chad's labor laws provide for freedom of association for 
workers, for confederation of unions, and for the right of 
labor to bargain collectively. The right to strike exists 
only after arbitration at three levels in two ministries 
(labor and justice) fails. There are two labor union 
confederations in Chad, both of which are only marginally 
effective and are in large part constrained by the Government. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Chad is officially a secular state. Islam, Christianity, and 
other religions are practiced freely. Both Islamic and 
Christian holidays are given official status. More than 50 
percent of Chad's population is Muslim, and Chad is a member 
of the Organization of Islamic Conferences. Christian 
missionaries may, nevertheless, enter the country, 
proselytize, and provide assistance to local populations. 
They are particularly active in the South. Strictly religious 
publications are allowed to circulate freely. The Government 
neither favors nor disfavors members of particular religions. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Chadians enjoy complete freedom to move around the country 
except within military zones or areas of recent or potential 
combat. These restrictions generally pertain only to the 
northern one-third of the country and are not enforced for the 
sparse population of that large desert region. In the North, 
the retreating Libyans left thousands of landmines under the 
sand, which have claimed some civilian victims. International 
travel is permitted, but regular passports are expensive 
(about $60), and travelers must be cleared by Chad's internal 
security services, a process which normally takes less than 1 
week. Chadians are free to emigrate. 

In previous years, many Chadians fled to neighboring countries 
because of drought and civil strife. As conditions improved 
in 1986, thousands of these displaced Chadians returned from 
the Central African Republic, Sudan, Cameroon, Niger, and 
Nigeria. Despite Chad's limited material means, these 
repatriates, as well as those Chadians who fled the occupied 
northern zone, have generally been well received. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The present political system does not provide for democratic 
change of government. Chad has been in a state of civil 
strife since 1965, with various factions and as many as 



62 



CHAD 

11 factional armies contending at times for control of the 
country. Since June 1982, Chad has been governed by President 
Habre, who heads a French-style Council of Ministers 
complemented by an appointed National Consultative Council 
(protolegislature) . Both councils are carefully balanced to 
promote ethnic and regional harmony. The source of President 
Habre' s authority is the allegiance he commands from the armed 
forces, the security services, and the country's only 
authorized political movement, the National Union for 
Independence and Revolution (UNIR) . UNIR's bylaws mandate the 
popular election of lower-level officials, but no elections 
have been scheduled. In some areas, traditional leaders 
(e.g., cantonal or village chiefs) are popularly elected or 
chosen by the subordinate members of the traditional hierarchy 
(village chiefs or family heads, for example). 

Habre's success on the battlefield has been concomitant with 
efforts at national reconciliation on the political front. 
The "Libreville accords," signed in late 1985 in Gabon by the 
Government and the rallying opposition parties, provide for 
the drafting of a new constitution by the National 
Consultative Council, to be voted on by referendum within 4 
years. The new constitution is to provide a time frame for 
free elections. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government has carried on a "dialog" with Amnesty 
International and permitted Amnesty to send a mission to Chad 
in 1985 to discuss human rights, including the status and 
conditions of prisoners of war, which the Government maintains 
are held in recognized detention centers. However, it did not 
respond to several Amnesty International requests for 
information, including a request in 1986 for details on 
alleged human rights abuses committed by Libyan troops in 
northern Chad. 

Chad has no internal human rights organizations, either 
official or nongovernmental. Chad ratified the African 
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights in July 1986. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

There are some 200 ethnic groups in Chad. The population can 
be divided roughly between Saharan and Arab Muslims in the 
northern and eastern regions, and Bantu-speaking peoples in 
the south. The latter group includes both those who have 
retained traditional animistic practices and those who have 
adopted Christianity. Over 22 years of conflict have 
transformed the complexity of ethnic divisions beyond simple 
north-south formulations. In an effort to build a national 
government. President Habre has expanded ethnic and geographic 
representation by appointing ministers, deputy ministers, and 
administrators from all parts of the country. 

Officially, Chadian women enjoy full political equality. In 
practice, neither Chadian traditional law nor the inherited 
French code fully protects women's rights. Women contribute 
the bulk of labor in virtually all aspects of farming. They 
also engage in commerce ranging from simple market stalls to 
the ownership of some larger businesses. The titular members 
of agricultural cooperatives still tend to be men. Women 



63 



CHAD 

serve voluntarily in the armed forces, although they are 
excluded from officer training programs. In 1984 a Ministry 
of Social and Women's Affairs was created and has since been 
headed by a woman. Only 1 of the 15 members of the Executive 
Bureau of UNIR's Central Committee is a woman. UNIR has a 
fairly active women's organization. Many women, especially 
war widows and their children, have inadequate means of 
support . 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The minimum age for employment is 14. Many exceptions abound, 
however, as Chad is predominantly a labor-intensive agrarian 
society, with 95 percent of the population engaged in 
subsistence agriculture. The statutory minimum wage for wage 
labor is approximately $25 per month. Given the Government's 
budgetary shortfall, civil servants below the executive level 
receive only 60 percent of their salaries on the scale 
established in 1977. Nonagricultural work is limited to 48 
hours per week with overtime to be paid for any excess. 
Agricultural work is supposedly limited to 2,400 hours per 
year. All workers must have at least 24 consecutive hours of 
rest each week, usually on Sunday. Occupational health and 
safety standards are established by law and ministerial decree 
but, as with most social legislation, enforcement is weak. 



64 



COMOROS 



The Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros is an archipelago 
comprising four islands in the Mozambique Channel. Comoros 
unilaterally declared its independence from France in 1975. 
The first President, Ahmed Abdallah Abderemane, was overthrown 
almost immediately but regained power in 1978 when mercenaries 
ousted the increasingly repressive and xenophobic regime of 
Ali Soilih. Running unopposed, Abdallah was reelected in 
1984. In recent years, constitutional amendments have 
strengthened the President's position, notably in the 
appointment of governors and in the establishment of a single 
legal political instrument, the United Progress Party (UPP) . 
Traditional social and economic institutions still influence 
the country's political development. Village notables and 
religious leaders dominate local politics. 

A mercenary force of about 50 expatriates continues to train 
and lead the Presidential Guard, the best equipped security 
force in the islands. French technical assistance is provided 
to the small Comorian armed forces and the Gendarmerie. Each 
island also has a small local police force. There was an 
unsuccessful coup in March 1985 by two dozen Comorian 
soldiers, who allegedly planned to kill the mercenaries and 
members of the Government. 

Agriculture dominates economic activity, but with a population 
of 450,000 likely to double by the year 2000, Comoros is 
rapidly approaching full utilization of arable land. Revenues 
from the export of vanilla, essence of ylang-ylang, cloves, 
and copra cover only a portion of necessary imports. There 
are no industries, port facilities are inadequate, and the 
highway and communications infrastructure is limited. Three 
major families, of which the President's is one, control a 
large share of the import-export business. Comoros is part of 
the French franc monetary zone. Government expenses far 
exceed revenues, and the country depends heavily on France for 
budgetary support and technical assistance. 

The human rights situation changed little in 1987. The 
Abdallah Government remained firmly in control and increased 
its hold on the National Assembly, with the UPP winning 41 of 
42 seats (1 is still to be contested) in March elections. 
Observers of those March elections reported that progovernment 
candidates benefited from large-scale manipulation of votes, 
particularly on Grand Comore island. On November 30, there 
was an attempted coup by a group of dissidents, including 
former members of the Presidential Guard and several persons 
connected with the 1985 coup attempt. At least three 
Comorians were killed. About 50 persons were arrested by the 
Presidential Guard. There was no evidence in 1987 of Islamic 
fundamentalist opposition, which allegedly flared briefly in 
1986 in the form of student unrest. 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of political killing in 1987. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of disappearance in 1987. 



65 



COMOROS 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Reports that mercenaries tortured some alleged coup 
conspirators were investigated by several human rights groups 
in 1985 and in 1986. According to its 1987 Report, Amnesty- 
International (AT) sent a mission to Comoros in August 1986 
and, inter alia, raised with the Government the authorities' 
failure to investigate reports of ill-treatment of coup 
detainees. The mission also criticized the use of 
incommunicado detention and solitary confinement, citing in 
particular the case of Moustoifa Said Cheikh, the leader of 
the outlawed Comorian Democratic Front (FDC) who was sentenced 
to life imprisonment in 1985. There were reports of torture 
of at least three victims of the November 1987 coup. 

For most prisoners, penal discipline is lax. Prisoners are 
usually released daily for prayers and work, and families 
provide their meals. Conditions, although still Spartan, 
improved as the prison population declined. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Current legal procedures and practices permit the Government 
to arrest and detain persons almost without restriction, 
especially in security cases. There are periodic reports that 
suspected dissidents are detained, roughed up, and subsequently 
released. The Government used house arrests during the 1987 
elections, ordering at least 200 opposition activists under 
house arrest before polling began on March 22. 

About 20 officials of the Ali Soilih regime, held without 
trial from 1978 to 1980, were released prior to 1985. The 
March 1985 attempt to murder the mercenaries and certain 
senior members of the Abdallah regime led to the interrogation 
of hundreds of suspects, the arrest of about 200 persons, and 
the extended detention incommunicado of about 80, many of them 
members or sympathizers of the FDC. The Government arrested 
an additional 30 soldiers at the end of 1985, allegedly for 
planning a second coup. Most of those detained or tried in 
1985 and 1986 were released in 1986 and 1987, but some 
additional arrests connected to the investigation of the coup 
attempt reportedly occurred in 1987. Members of the 
Presidential Guard reportedly participated in the arrests of 
about 50 persons suspected of involvement in the November 1987 
coup attempt. 

There is no indication of forced or compulsory labor. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The Constitution provides for the equality of all citizens 
before the law and the right of all accused to defense counsel. 
The Comorian legal system applies Islamic law and an inherited 
French legal code. French and Comorian experts are drafting a 
new consolidated legal code. Most disputes are settled by 
village elders or by a civil court of first instance. In 
regular civil and criminal cases, the judiciary is independent 
and trials are public. 

However, the President has appointive and other judicial 
powers. In this connection, Abdallah ordered the 
establishment of a special court of appointed members to try 
the alleged coup conspirators, based on a 1960 decree as 
amended in October 1985. The November 1985 and July 1986 



66 



COMOROS 

trials commanded considerable attention, including that of 
international human rights organizations which protested the 
lengthy procedural delays and the brevity of the trials. In 
its 1987 Report, AI stated that the two trials failed to 
satisfy internationally recognized standards of fair trial and 
noted that some defendants were convicted on the basis of 
statements made under duress while in incommunicado detention. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The Constitution provides for the inviolability of home and 
property. There were no known cases of arbitrary interference 
with privacy in 1987. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Constitution provides for freedom of expression, of 
thought, and of conscience, but Comorians discuss and 
criticize the Government and its leading personalities only in 
private. 

The local news media consist solely of the government- 
controlled radio station and the bimonthly newspaper, which 
are careful not to criticize the Government when covering 
domestic events. However, the Paris-based Indian Ocean 
Newsletter, which is often critical of the Comoros, and the 
Comorian Letter, which is published by members of the Comorian 
opposition in Paris, generally arrive unhindered through the 
international mail. Other foreign journals and newspapers are 
available, as are books from abroad. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The Constitution states that freedom of association is 
guaranteed. In practice, this right is partially 
circumscribed since the only legal political activity must 
take place within the framework of the United Progress Party. 
On July 1, 1987, a number of Comorians opposed to the idea of 
a possible third 6-year term for President Ahmed Abdallah 
staged a short, peaceful demonstration and dispersed on their 
own without any violence. 

Social occasions, such as the traditional lavish, extended 
weddings and funerals of prominent Comorians, are used as 
opportunities to discuss political topics. 

The Constitution also makes provision for the freedom of 
workers to form unions and to strike. However, farming on 
small landholdings , subsistence fishing, and petty commerce 
make up the daily activity of most of the population. Hence 
the wage labor force is very small, and unions are not 
effectively organized. Collective bargaining does not take 
place. The increasing scarcity of jobs is also a real 
restraint on labor complaints, organizational activities, and 
formal strikes. The Government's inability to pay wages and 
salaries on schedule sometimes results in work slowdowns, 
absenteeism, and informal, peaceful protests. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

An overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim. The 
Constitution holds Islam to be the "wellspring of the 



67 



COMOROS 

principles and rules which guide the State and its 
institutions." However, the State upholds non-Muslims' right 
to practice their faith. There are churches for the small 
Protestant and Catholic populations. Christian missionaries 
work in local hospitals and schools, but they are not allowed 
to proselytize. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Movement within the Comoros and travel abroad for citizens and 
foreigners is not restricted. Members of the Comorian 
community abroad, concentrated in France, oppose the 
Government, but in 1987 there was no evidence that those 
returning to the Comoros were subjected to government 
reprisals . 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The right of citizens to change their Government does not 
exist. The restoration of President Abdallah in 1978 
introduced an era of strong authoritarian leadership. 
Abdallah remained in 1987 the single most important factor in 
Comorian politics. He commands the personal loyalty of the 
Presidential Guard, and his position is buttressed both by 
tradition and by his own personal wealth. 

Elections for the 42-seat National Assembly on March 22, 1987, 
were marked by widespread fraud. On Anjouan, the President's 
home island, and Moheli, Abdallah declared ineligible all the 
opposition candidates. On election day, the Government ordered 
at least 200 opposition activists under house arrest before 
polling began. Opposition candidates charge that Presidential 
Guard members intimidated voters in one district on Grande 
Comore. There were reliable reports that the Government 
rewrote ballots in order to change the outcome in instances 
when opposition candidates received a majority of the votes, 
and to enhance the victories of government candidates. 

Comoros has claimed sovereignty over the island of Mayotte, 
which is under French control. The French have postponed 
indefinitely a new referendum on the status of Mayotte. In 
1977, 96 percent of the voters in Mayotte opted in favor of 
remaining with France. The Comorian Government has alleged 
electoral coercion in the 1977 vote and has pressed France to 
acknowledge Comorian sovereignty without a plebiscite. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government has been critical of some aspects of AI ' s work, 
but has cooperated with the organization as recently as 1986, 
when AI delegates met with a wide range of judicial and 
military officials, including the Minister of Justice. They 
were not, however, permitted to speak with the four "prisoners 
of conscience" AI had adopted and were not given access to the 
records of the November 1985 and July 1986 trials. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The constitutional deference to Islam formalizes the deeply 
held commitment of most Comorians to an Islam.ic world view. 



68 



COMOROS 

The society respects authority based on inheritance, age, 
wealth, and religious leadership. 

The Constitution formally provides for the equality of 
citizens regardless of race, sex, or religion. Women have the 
right to vote and to participate, in theory, in the political 
process as candidates. Women are neither veiled nor limited, 
in terms of employment, to minor civil service posts. Change 
in the status of women is most evident in the major towns. 
Nevertheless, within Comorian society, men have a dominant 
role. At traditional ceremonies and social gatherings, the 
sexes are separated. The opinions of husbands and fathers 
exercise a formidable influence over women's voting habits. 
In politics, tradition has also been a powerful force in 
discouraging women from direct participation. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Most of Comoros' inhabitants make their living from 
subsistence agriculture and fishing. There is no 
industrialization or factory activity. Jobs in the small 
modern economy are scarce, and accordingly wages are low. 
There is no minimum wage, age of employment, or code 
specifying formal standards of occupational safety and 
health. However, the hours of work in any category rarely 
exceed 35 hours per week, and child labor is not an issue due 
to the lack of employment opportunities for adolescent and 
young adults. Young children do work in family units in the 
large subsistence section. 



69 



CONGO 



The People's Republic of the Congo is officially a 
Marxist-Leninist state governed by an elite group of party, 
cabinet, and military officials through the single legal 
party, the Congolese Labor Party (PCT) . In addition to 
serving as President of the Republic and Head of Government, 
Denis Sassou-Nguesso is also head of the party. The President 
nominates the 10-member Political Bureau, the key policymaking 
group, which is approved by the 75-member Central Committee. 
Within the Central Committee, members from the northern regions 
of the country are in the majority and hold the balance of 
power even though they represent a minority of the population. 
The military and security services are also firmly under the 
control of the northerners, and they ultimately are the 
arbiters of power in the Congo. The need to maintain consensus 
among the political leaders representing traditionally 
conflicting areas provides a check on arbitrary policies. 

The security apparatus, which is under the direction of the 
presidency, is headed by the State Security Organization 
(DSGE) and is patterned after those in Eastern Europe. Its 
principal objective is to protect the State against possible 
dissident activity. There are also party core groups in all 
ministries, labor organizations, mass organizations, and urban 
districts which monitor the activities of coworkers and 
neighbors. In addition to the DGSE, there are the regular 
police forces whose discipline is generally improving with 
continuing Eastern European and Cuban training. 

The Congolese economy is highly dependent on oil, which in 
past years has accounted for over 90 percent of exports. In 
1982 the Congo began to implement an ambitious 5-year 
investment plan, concentrated heavily on inf rastructural 
development, but by 1985 sharp reductions in oil revenues 
forced the Government to cut its budget in half and in 1986 to 
accept an International Monetary Fund (IMF) adjustment program. 
In 1987 the World Bank approved two loans totaling $85.2 
million for a structural adjustment program and a short-term 
advisory program to study reforms in public enterprises. 

The human rights situation in the Congo changed little in 
1987. While not politically free, most Congolese live their 
daily lives with a minimum of government and police 
interference. In July there was a reported coup attempt 
against the Government. Subsequently, the Government arrested 
six persons, including four members of the military forces, 
and was continuing its special investigation. In August a 
former army captain, who reportedly was a participant in the 
July attempt, and a few supporters with alleged ties to former 
President Yhombi, engaged government forces in battle in the 
northern town of Owando, at the reported cost of five dead and 
several injured. The captain remained at large at the end of 
1987, but the Government had detained Yhombi and moved him 
from Owando, his home town, to Brazzaville, claiming that 
Yhombi had voluntarily "placed himself at the disposition of 
the judicial system." Amnesty International (AI) had reports 
that 11 military officers had been arrested following the July 
incident and that one, Lt . Col. Henri Eboundit, had been 
tortured and was in ill-health. The Government denied that 
Eboundit had been tortured or was in ill health. 



70 



CONGO 



RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 



Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reported cases of killing for political motives. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reported cases of disappearance for political 
motives . 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The practice of beating suspects at police and at state 
security centers in the course of interrogations is not 
uncommon. Neither is it uncommon for the public or the police 
to beat thieves who have been caught in the act of stealing. 

Political prisoners are held incommunicado, and it is 
reasonable to assume that torture is used to extract 
information desired by the police that is not freely given. 
However, several political prisoners held incommuncado in the 
past have been freed and are now leading normal lives with no 
apparent ill effects. Some have managed to regain their 
earlier status and are serving as government ministers. AI, 
in its 1987 Report and in 1987 statements, expressed concern 
over reports of torture, including the case of Lt . Col. 
Eboundit . 

Prison conditions in general are poor, and there is a lack of 
adeguate food, hygiene, and medical care. Both detainees and 
prisoners may be visited by family or friends who bear the 
responsibility for providing food and medicines. 

d. Arbitary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

While the Constitution provides protection against arbitrary 
indictment, arrest, and detention, in practice a warrant is 
not required to make arrests. There is a legal requirement 
that a detainee be brought before an investigating judge within 
3 days of arrest. The judge may then order detention for a 
maximum period of 6 months, after which the detainee must be 
charged or released. However, this law does not apply in 
cases involving the security of the State, and some political 
detainees have been held for lengthy periods without being 
brought before a judge or charged. The trial of those accused 
of having participated in the 1982 bombings in Brazzaville did 
not take place until 1986, and some of the accused were held 
incommunicado for several years. 

Despite the Government's steps to increase the number of 
magistrates and to improve procedures, the administrative 
processing of regular cases is slow, and persons awaiting 
trial are often detained for considerable periods. Detained 
persons are entitled to an attorney. All lawyers are under 
the general authority of the Government. In criminal cases, 
defense lawyers are provided by the Government for those 
without funds. 



71 



CONGO 

Whether a detainee is formally charged usually depends upon 
the seriousness of the crime and the economic situation of the 
family. For lesser crimes, the person is usually taken to 
jail, where he may be beaten and held for a few days, then 
released on bail pending a trial which may or may not ever 
take place. A person accused of a serious crime (e.g., murder, 
rape) is held in prison until the trial, which may be months 
or even years later. 

At the end of 1987, the number of political detainees or 
prisoners was unknown. The Government officially acknowledged 
the arrest of four military men and two civilians for alleged 
participation in the 1987 coup attempts. Col. Jean Michel 
Ebaka and Lt . Col. Eboundit are the ranking military officers 
under detention (house arrest, according to the Government). 
Ex-President Yhombi was also being held under "protective 
custody." Prior to his state visit to France in 1987, 
President Sassou granted a pardon to a French national, Claude 
Buisson, who had been sentenced to 7 years' hard labor in the 
August 1986 bombing trial. 

There is no known forced labor in the Congo. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The legal system in not insulated from political interference. 
The Constitution provides for a Supreme Court which is in 
practice an arm of the executive rather than an independent 
body. The amended Constitution also provides for 
nonprofessional judges to be elected to all courts below the 
Supreme Court. The stated purpose of this change was to 
"popularize justice," i.e., provide a role for peers to 
influence the formal judicial process. 

According to the law, any Congolese citizen may now become a 
judge but can adjudicate cases only in collaboration with 
trained judges. Each nomination must be approved by the 
party. By law, the right to a fair and public trial exists in 
all cases, and the judicial process is relatively fair and 
open for those accused of common crimes. Also, it is not 
uncommon to have a higher court reverse lower court decisions 
in nonpolitical cases. 

Political cases are tried by a special court, the 
Revolutionary Court of Justice. In its 1987 Report, AI 
expressed its concern that the August 1986 trial of 10 persons, 
who were convicted of causing bomb explosions in Brazzaville 
in March and July 1982, had not met international standards of 
fairness for several reasons, e.g., several judges were members 
of the PCT Central Committee and had been involved in the case 
at an earlier stage. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

There is little interference by the Government with privacy, 
family, home, or correspondence. Citizens are not forced to 
participate in the party or its organs. In general, so long 
as a person does not engage in any activity which involves or 
implies opposition to the Government, he is not oppressed or 
harassed. 



72 



CONGO 
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Freedom of speech and press are restricted, despite guarantees 
in the Constitution. The State owns and controls the media 
except for one weekly religious newspaper. The Government 
allows some criticism of its policies and programs judged not 
to be politically sensitive, but it does not allow its ultimate 
authority to be challenged publicly. Journalists may raise 
issues and concerns only within general guidelines laid down 
by the Government and the party. The Government and party are 
selective in the kinds of news and information they permit 
Congolese journalists to publish from various outside sources 
of information. Television viewers have access to Zairian 
media programs. A state censorship board reviews the content 
of newspapers, movies, books, and records. Publications are 
subject to censorship if they contain critical articles. 
While the Government controls the local press, foreign 
journalists are generally permitted to travel freely once an 
entry visa and a special permit for travel to the interior are 
obtained. These are usually granted. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The right of peaceful assembly is limited by the State's 
perceived self-interest. Political meetings are permitted 
only for the party and its organizations. Government 
permission is not reguired for groups to assemble for 
religious and social purposes but is required for use of 
official facilities. Government authorization is also 
required to establish professional clubs and organizations, of 
which there are several. 

The labor code adopted in March 1975 is quite liberal in 
theory and provides for the right of association. However, 
given its past active political role, the labor movement is 
closely scrutinized and controlled by the Government and 
party. In practice, the party controls the unions, largely 
through the umbrella union, the Congolese Trade Union 
Confederation (CTUC) , which is an appendage of the party. The 
party approves the national leadership of the CTUC. No group 
is allowed to form an independent, alternative union outside 
the party, which led to a complaint to the International Labor 
Organization (ILO) that the Congo was not observing the 
Convention on Freedom of Association. The CTUC is represented 
in every ministry and state-owned enterprise and serves on 
mandatory boards which include a union representative along 
with a member of the Government and the party. Known as the 
"determinant trilogy," this structure is responsible for 
ensuring that the three major points of view are represented 
in the decisionmaking process and serves as the Congo's form 
of collective bargaining. The CTUC unions are prohibited from 
striking, although wildcat strikes do occur with relative 
impunity. The local unions within the Confederation have been 
able in some instances to persuade the Government to provide 
workers with increased benefits. As long as political subjects 
are avoided, there is also a certain degree of democratic 
dialogue within the labor movement and with the Government. 
The CTUC maintains relations with recognized international 
organizations such as the ILO. 



73 

CONGO 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law. In practice, party 
members are prohibited from practicing any religion. Religious 
organizations, such as the Salvation Army, must obtain the 
Government's permisson to work in the Congo. Jehovah's 
Witnesses, for example, are not permitted in the Congo, 
allegedly because Witnesses do not recognize the authority of 
the State. With these exceptions, the party does not normally 
interfere in religious affairs. The Catholic Church, the 
largest religious coiununity, maintains a seminary for the 
training of its clergy and has missions throughout the country. 
Masses are held in the various local languages as well as in 
French. The Catholic Church publishes the only independent 
newspaper. La Semaine Africaine. Catholic and other 
missionaries are active in running private missions and 
clinics and provide other social services. While some of 
these services are joint ventures between church and 
government, many of the services formerly provided by churches 
have been abolished. The Government is officially atheist. 
Christmas Day is called Children's Day. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

The Government exercises limited control over the internal 
movement of its citizens through identification card checks. 
There are control points outside all major towns manned by 
soldiers who vigorously check identification documents. 
Congolese citizens who wish to travel abroad require exit 
authorization from the DSGE. For most citizens this is a 
fairly routine process. However, those who are suspected of 
traveling for political motives encounter obstacles in 
obtaining such authorization. Government employees traveling 
abroad must obtain permission from the appropriate government 
office. Passports must be returned to the Office of State 
Security after the traveler's return from abroad. 

The Government exercises tight control over travel by 
foreigners in the Congo. Most visas are for one entry only, 
exit visas are required for nondiplomats , and those desiring 
to travel into the interior must obtain permission from the 
appropriate ministry. There are no known instances of 
Congolese being refused the right to return to their country. 
Citizenship may be lost under conditions established in the 
nationality code. For example, citizenship may be lost by 
taking citizenship in another country or for conviction for 
espionage. There are no known cases of a native-born 
Congolese being denied citizenship. 

The Congo is the home of about 3,400 exiles and refugees, 
mostly from surrounding central African states. While refugees 
are subject to surveillance and occasional harassment by the 
Congolese Government, there were no cases of forcible 
repatriation in 1987. The Congo is a party to the U.N. 
Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 
and a representative of the United Nations High Commissioner 
for Refugees is resident in Brazzaville. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of 
Citizens to Change Their Government 

While the President is the most powerful single person in the 
Government, his authority is limited by his need to maintain a 
consensus in the Political Bureau of the party. The balance 



74 



CONGO 

of power in the Political Bureau and in the larger Central 
Committee is held by northerners to the detriment of the far 
more numerous southerners. Military officers occupy key 
positions among the ruling group and help ensure its 
continuation in power. 

The Congolese people do not have the right to change their 
government through democratic processes. Opportunities for 
political involvement by Congolese citizens are limited to the 
Marxist-Leninist Congolese Labor Party, including its mass 
organizations, and to participation in the national, regional, 
and local assemblies. The Congolese Labor Party (PCT) is the 
supreme organ of state. No other political parties are 
permitted to operate. PCT membership, which numbers 
approximately 8,700 out of a total population of almost 2 
million, is highly controlled, and membership is awarded on 
the basis of loyalty and political performance. 

The powers of the National Assembly are limited. The 
national, regional, and local assemblies are "elected" from 
single-party approved lists, which present only one candidate. 
The selection process can involve a certain amount of 
negotiation, and incumbents have been turned out of office in 
the process. Representatives of the National Assembly are 
chosen from a broad spectrum of the population, including 
traditional leaders, small farmers, and workers. The National 
Assembly has some impact on social and economic issues, and 
regional and local assemblies may discuss issues before the 
decisions are made at the national level. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

There are no human rights organizations in the Congo. The 
Government permitted AI to send an observer to the 1986 
bombing trial. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Under the Constitution there is no official discrimination 
based on race, sex, religion, language, or social status. As 
noted, northerners carry disproportionate influence in the 
political and security organs. Women have the same legal 
rights as men in the private, political, and social domains. 
There is a large disparity, however, between salaries for men 
and women, and women are relegated to a secondary role in the 
modern sectors of society. In traditional society, women are 
often the chief decisionmakers. Five women are members of the 
party's 75-member Central Committee. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

In previous years, revenues from oil production allowed the 
Government to employ large numbers of Congolese for various 
government organizations, including state corporations. Owing 
to declining oil revenues and the need to comply with an 
IMF/V>Jorld Bank structural adjustment program, the Goverment 
has abandoned its program of guaranteed employment for all 
university graduates. It is in the process of privatizing 
some state enterprises and has frozen government hiring. Cash 
flow difficulties sometimes cause delays in meeting the public 
payroll . 



75 



CONGO 

Working conditions for Congolese in the modern sector, which 
employs about 50 percent of the population, are generally 
good. These include a minimum working age of 16, a maximum 
40-hour workweek, at least 1 day of rest per week, family 
benefits, and medical aid. There is social security, and the 
minimum hourly wage is $1.96 for urban employees. Domestic 
workers must be paid at least $78 monthly. Outside government 
employment, these minimums are often ignored. There is a code 
of occupational safety and health, although it too is probably 
not enforced. While many salaried Congolese have a generally 
high standard of working conditions and social benefits, most 
of the rural population is still engaged in subsistence 
farming . 



76 



COTE D" IVOIRE 



Cote d'lvoire, a former French colony which gained 
independence through a peaceful transfer of power in 1960, is 
a one-party state with a civilian government. Power is 
concentrated in the Democratic Party of Cote d'lvoire (PDCI) 
and its long-time leader. President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, 
now 82 years old. Although the freedom to form other parties 
is included in the Constitution, in practice no other party 
has been allowed to participate in the political process. A 
somewhat more open system has nonetheless evolved since 
competitive elections were held in 1980 for PDCI, municipal, 
and legislative positions. Membership in the party organs, 
the number of municipalities with elected leadership, and 
representation in the National Assembly have all steadily 
expanded in the last 27 years to reflect the growth and 
diversity of the Ivorian population. Basic policies are set 
within the PDCI, and the unicameral National Assembly has 
never publicly challenged a policy put forth by the party. 

The Ministry of Internal Security includes the Surete National 
and the Gendarmerie, the national police service, which is 
structured along French lines. The Surete has an arm that is 
responsible for intelligence gathering and counterespionage. 
The Gendarmerie is responsible for territorial security, 
especially in the rural areas. 

Cote d'lvoire has enjoyed considerable economic development 
since independence, and the country now has an annual per 
capita income of $786 (1986). The Ivorian economy is market 
oriented and open to foreign investment. During the 1980's, 
however. Cote d'lvoire has been squeezed by a heavy debt 
burden and falling prices for its exports, principally coffee, 
cocoa, and tropical woods, on world markets. In 1987 the 
country experienced a decline in its gross domestic product 
(GDP) for the first time since independence. Prices for coffee 
and cocoa decreased, and the Government was forced in May to 
suspend payments on its foreign debt. 

The human rights situation in Cote d'lvoire in 1987 remained 
generally satisfactory. The President continued to advocate 
"dialogue" in settling disputes, seeking to involve dissenters 
in the operation of the one-party structure rather than to 
isolate them. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of officially sanctioned political 
ki 1 lings . 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of officially sanctioned abduction or 
disappearance . 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The Ivorian penal code prohibits official violence without 
"legitimate justification." The code does not, however, 
specifically mention or prohibit torture nor does it define 



77 



COTE D' IVOIRE 

what constitutes "legitimate justification" or the level of 
violence officials may use if it is "justified." There were 
no reports of torture during 1987, nor any evidence of 
systematic cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of persons, 
including prison inmates. Foreign Africans are routinely 
treated more roughly by police on arrest than are Ivorians. 
Prisoners are usually allowed visits from attorneys of their 
choice and from family members, who must provide food to 
supplement the sparse prison diet. Prison conditions are 
poor. Sanitation and medical facilities are minimal. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The Ivorian Constitution and pertinent statutes prohibit 
arbitrary arrest or imprisonment. However, the Government 
occasionally detains persons considered a threat to internal 
security. It also takes firm nonviolent measures against acts 
it considers as threats to internal security. For example, 
the Government has used the threat of forced conscription to 
discourage student involvement in antigovernment activities. 
Some prominent critics of the Government have chosen to live 
and write elsewhere; on the other hand, political exiles from 
a number of countries have found Cote d'lvoire a hospitable 
safe haven. 

Under the Ivorian penal code, a public prosecutor can order 
the detention of a suspect for up to 48 hours without bringing 
charges. The code dictates that further detention must be 
ordered by a magistrate who can authorize additional periods 
of up to 4 months, but who must also provide the Minister of 
Justice, on a monthly basis, with a written justification for 
continued detention. There have been reports that local police 
have held persons for more than 48 hours in a few cases, but 
that higher officials have disciplined police for these 
violations . 

In July 1987, the Secondary Teachers' Union Congress, one of 
three unions outside the government-sponsored federation, was 
suspended. Thereafter a group of teachers, supported by the 
Government, ousted the old leadership, which reportedly 
disagreed with government policy. Some teachers publicly 
protested the Government's action and subsequently, in 
September and October, 16 secondary teachers were detained. 
In a civil trial in December, three teachers were found guilty 
of embezzlement of union funds, fined, and sentenced to several 
months each in prison. Two teachers were released, and 11 
others required to perform national military service. 

There have been no reports of forced labor in Cote d'lvoire. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The modern judicial system is headed by a Supreme Court and 
includes a Court of Appeals and lower courts. There is 
general agreement that the judiciary is independent of the 
executive in practice as well as under the Constitution's 
separation 'of powers provisions. Defendants accused of 
felonies or capital crimes have the right to legal counsel, 
and indigent defendants are eligible for court-appointed 
attorneys. In practice, however, such attorneys are not 
readily available. 

Ivorian law establishes the right to a fair public trial. 
This provision is generally respected in urban areas. In 
rural areas, justice is often administered at the village 



78 



COTE D'lVOIRE 

level through traditional institutions which largely handle 
local matters such as domestic disputes, minor land questions, 
and family law. Dispute resolution is by extended debate, 
with no known instances of resort to physical or similar 
punishment. These traditional courts are increasingly 
superseded by the formal judicial system. 

Civilians are not tried by military courts. There are no 
appellate courts within the military justice system. Persons 
convicted by a military tribunal occasionally request the 
Supreme Court to set aside the tribunal's verdict and order a 
retrial . 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

All Ivorian citizens are considered to be members of the 
PDCI. Party regulations call for active participation in 
party activities and payment of dues which are collected in 
most cases through deductions from pay checks. Most party 
regulations, however, are not strictly enforced. Ivorians who 
choose not to participate do not suffer retaliation. It is 
not known what percentage of the population actively 
participates in the party. 

The Code of Penal Procedures specifies that a police official 
or investigative magistrate may conduct searches of homes 
without a warrant if there is reason to believe there is 
evidence concerning a crime on the premises. The official 
must have the prosecutor's agreement to retain any objects 
seized in the search. He is required to have witnesses to the 
search, which may not take place between the hours of 9 p.m. 
and 4 a.m. Legal safeguards against arbitrary searches 
generally are respected in urban areas but are sometimes 
ignored in the countryside. 

In the past, there have been scattered reports of forced entry 
of the home, specifically involving foreign Africans. There 
is no evidence that correspondence and telephone conversations 
are monitored. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

There is a limited range of free expression in Cote d'lvoire. 
Critics of the Government feel free to, and do, express 
themselves in informal situations without fear of reprisal. 
Public criticism of basic policies, the party, or the 
President, however, rarely occurs. 

The Government owns majority shares in the two daily 
newspapers, and their editorial opinion follows the policies 
of the PDCI. The one weekly newsmagazine is controlled by the 
party. Several periodic pamphlets are published privately. 
The Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth, and Sports 
operates radio and television stations and a wire service. 
Government policy assigns the media a positive role in 
promoting national unity and development. It allows criticism 
of failures to execute policy but not criticism of the policies 
themselves. Investigative journalism is permitted except with 
respect to the Government and its policies. The Government 
has occasionally banned a critical publication, such as the 
book, "Islam and the Cote d'lvoire." Foreign publications are 
readily available, but occasionally issues which are 



79 



COTE D'lVOIRE 

particularly critical of the Ivorian Government, the party, or 
the President are seized. The magazine Jeune Afrique was 
banned from the country in November after the Government took 
offense at one of its articles. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Freedom of assembly is generally respected, except when the 
Government perceives a significant and immediate danger to 
public order. Limits, such as the cancellation of gatherings, 
occasionally are placed on the expression of controversial 
views in public forums. As a result of student disorders in 
1982, only apolitical gatherings are now permitted on campus, 
but students still speak freely about politics in informal 
situations. There is little tradition of assembly for purely 
political purposes outside the established party structure. 

Major unions are organized within a government-sponsored labor 
confederation, the General Union of Cote d'lvoire Workers 
(UGTCI). Secondary, university, and primary school teachers' 
unions have been exceptions and until this year they each 
maintained independent trade unions. In July 1987, the 
congress of the Secondary School Teachers' Union was 
interrupted by disturbances, whereupon the union leadership 
suspended the proceedings. A second group thereafter convoked 
the congress again and elected a new leadership which won 
government endorsement. Spokesmen for both secondary and 
university teachers accused the Government of interference in 
internal union affairs and abridgement of their right to 
choose their own leadership. Shortly after the replacement of 
the Secondary Teachers' Union leadership, the Primary School 
Teachers' Union asked to join the UGTCI, leaving only the 
university teachers outside the fold. 

The leader of the UGTCI occupies a senior position in the 
party hierarchy. Union membership is encouraged but not 
mandatory. The UGTCI is a relatively passive coordinating 
mechanism rather than an active force for workers' rights. 
However, the UGTCI has representatives in every major business 
enterprise, and the UGTCI secretariat often plays a mediation 
or conciliation role in relations between labor and management 
in individual businesses. Collective bargaining within each 
company takes place under UGTCI leadership. 

The right to strike exists under statute, but in practice 
strikes are rarely authorized by the UGTCI. Although there 
were no official strikes in 1987, there were several "work 
stoppages." In one case, after workers had refused to work 
for 7 days and the UGTCI was unable to settle the dispute, the 
Government stepped in and settled the dispute in favor of the 
workers . 

The 1983 secondary teachers' strike was broken by a 
presidential decree ordering teachers back to the classrooms 
and threatening them with fines and prison sentences for 
noncompliance. Generally, the Government negotiates with 
strikers and resolves at least some of their economic 
grievances. Aside from the dispute with secondary school 
teachers and the arrest and detention of 16 of their members, 
there have been no reports that professional groups have 
experienced persecution or harassment. The Government, 
however, attempts to bring such groups under its wing or that 
of the party. 



80 



COTE D'lVOIRE 

Unions, trade associations, and professional bodies are 
permitted to maintain relations with recognized international 
professional bodies in their fields. The UGTCI is a member of 
the continent-wide Organization of African Trade Union Unity. 
Cote d'lvoire is a member-state of the International Labor 
Organization (ILO), and the UGTCI participates in Ivorian 
delegations to ILO conferences and events. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

There are no known impediments to religious expression. There 
is no dominant religion, and no particular faith is favored by 
the Government. The open practice of religion is permitted, 
and there are no restrictions on religious ceremonies or 
teaching . 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

The Ivorian Government exercises minimal control over domestic 
travel, but internal roadblocks for identity and customs 
checks are common. Persons stopped at such roadblocks are 
sometim.es harassed by the police. Ivorians can travel abroad 
freely and can emigrate without discrimination. Ivorians have 
the right of voluntary repatriation. There are no known cases 
of revocation of citizenship. 

Cote d'lvoire's refugee and asylum practices are liberal. The 
country has resettled or granted safe haven to Angolans, 
Burkinabe, Eritreans, Ghanaians, Guineans, Liberians, and 
Vietnamese. 

While in Cote d'lvoire, refugees receive 1-year renewable 
resident visas for their first 5 years in the country, after 
which they may apply for permanent residence. Cote d'lvoire 
does not take any significant responsibility for the economic 
and social welfare of refugees, which becomes the concern of 
private and international organizations. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Political participation is limited to the PDCI, which is 
headed by President Houphouet-Boigny . No opposition groups 
exist openly, and their formation is discouraged. Therefore, 
in practice the citizens of Cote d'lvoire are unable to change 
the one-party system of government. 

Within the party, the President wields power through a 
13-member Executive Committee, a 57-member political bureau, 
and a 208-member steering committee. Political power is 
concentrated in the President's hands, and most important 
decisions are made by the President himself. The National 
Assembly initiated its first legislation in history to promote 
job creation in the rural and small business sectors during 
the 1986-87 legislative year. The Assembly also confirms and 
ratifies legislative initiatives received from the President. 

Within this strict one-party system, the Ivorian Government 
continues to encourage more open participation in the 
political process by expanding the size of the party 
institutions and by permitting party members to contest 
legislative, municipal, and local party elections. In the 
case of the 1985 legislative elections, for example. 



81 



COTE D'lVOIRE 

approximately 577 individuals ran for the 175-seat National 
Assembly. Many incumbents were defeated in all three 
elections . 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovermental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government has been cooperative toward inquiries into its 
human rights situation, the last of which occurred in 1981. 
Cote d'lvoire has a local chapter of Amnesty International. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

There is no apparent discrimination based on race, sex, 
religion, language, or social status. The most lucrative 
government and private sector jobs seem to be concentrated 
among the minority Muslim (30 percent) and Christian (15 
percent) populations, a phenomenon attributable more to 
urbanization and access to education than to a systematic 
pattern of discrimination. However, all religions are 
represented at top levels of government and throughout 
society. Although French is the official language and the 
language of instruction in the schools, radio and television 
broadcasts are provided in major local languages. Social and 
economic mobility are not limited by policy or custom. 

Non-Ivorian Africans living in the Cote d'lvoire are estimated 
at over 3 million; about half come from Burkina Faso and the 
rest from other nearby countries. These foreign workers play 
an important role in the Ivorian economy, especially in 
agriculture. The Government's policy of Ivorianization 
requires that all positions be offered to Ivorians before 
foreigners; this prevents foreign Africans from obtaining most 
of the higher paying wage and salary jobs in the modern sector. 

Although males clearly play the preponderant role overall, 
some Ivorian traditional societies accord v;omen considerable 
political and economic power. Nonetheless, in rural areas 
tribal customs dictate the division of menial tasks, which are 
performed mostly by women. Children often work on their 
parents' land, and in Abidjan some children routinely act as 
vendors of consumer goods in the informal sector. Female 
circumcision continues to be practiced among elements of the 
Ivorian population, although it is rare in urban populations. 
Official party policy is to encourage full participation by 
women in social, economic, and political life. The role of 
women has recently won somewhat greater prominence. In July 
1986, the President appointed a new Minister for Women's 
Affairs, a cabinet-level position first created in 1976 but 
which had been vacant for almost 2 years. Women remain 
lightly represented at the higher levels of government and the 
party. Ten women are deputies in the 175-seat National 
Assembly and 28 women are members of the 208-member Steering 
Committee of the PDCI . 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The Government enforces a comprehensive work code of law, the 
Code du Travail, governing the terms and conditions of service 
for salaried workers and providing for occupational safety and 
health standards. 



82 



COTE D' IVOIRE 

Extensive safeguards protect those employed in the modern 
sector against unjust compensation, excessive hours, and 
capricious discharge from employment. In most instances, the 
minimum working age is 16, and minimum wages vary according to 
occupation, e.g., a skilled worker would earn the equivalent 
of $0.77 per hour. Wage levels increase for workers with more 
experience and skills. Month-long paid vacations and a 
substantial severance pay are guaranteed. Government medical 
insurance and retirement programs provide an element of income 
security for salaried employees in the modern sector. 
However, there is a large informal sector of the economy, 
involving both urban and especially rural workers, in which 
many of these occupational regulations and safeguards are 
enforced erratically at best. 



83 



DJIBOUTI 



Djibouti is a constitutional republic with a one-party 
political system. Occupying a small, arid land at the 
southern tip of the Red Sea, Djibouti's 330,000-400,000 people 
have been ruled since independence from France in 1977 by 
President Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who was reelected in April 
1987. President Hassan Gouled's Rassemblement Populaire Pour 
le Progress (RPP) has been Djibouti's only legal political 
party since the 1981 election year when the Government 
outlawed the Mouvement Populaire Djiboutien (MPD) . An 
overseas opposition party, the Mouvement National Djiboutien 
Pour 1' Instauration de la Democratie (MNDID) , led by a former 
government official, has minimal influence in Djibouti. 

Political life in Djibouti is a subtle and unequal contest 
between two major ethnic groups, the predominant Issa and the 
sizable minority Afar. An Arab minority, mostly Yemeni, are 
prominent in commerce but not in politics. Although Djibouti 
has had only one president since independence, it is accepted 
that the presidency is and will be reserved for an Issa and 
the prime minister for an Afar. The president, who wields the 
significant executive power, appoints the prime minister. 
Cabinet positions are divided among Issas and Afars. In 
practice, real authority in the civil service and the armed 
forces is in Issa hands. 

Djibouti's armed forces have a total strength of about 3,500, 
primarily ground forces, but with a small naval force and a 
one-plane (transport) air force. France guarantees Djibouti's 
external security under a 1977 agreement. France also 
maintains a garrison of about 3,800 military and naval 
personnel in Djibouti. 

Djibouti's narrowly based formal economy is centered on 
services for an expatriate community of about 10,000 and 
operation of the seaport, the airport, and the Djibouti-Addis 
Ababa railroad. While some large enterprises are state owned, 
free enterprise is encouraged, and there is private ownership 
of both property and capital. Lack of economic growth has 
been aggravated since independence by the recurrence of 
drought and the influx of tens of thousands of imjtiigrants 
(legal and illegal) fleeing war, drought, famine, and 
repressive political and economic conditions in Ethiopia and 
Somalia. Even with international assistance led by the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , Djibouti has 
been hard pressed to absorb refugees into an economy also 
coping with illegal economic migrants. 

There was little change in the human rights situation in 
Djibouti in 1987 in terms of government policy. A Djiboutian 
who does not oppose the Government or the party is generally 
free to pursue his life and livelihood without government 
interference. However, a number of abuses occurred in 
connection with Djibouti's continuing efforts to return 
illegal aliens to their own countries. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of government-inspired political 
killings during 1987. 



84 



DJIBOUTI 

The March 18, 1987, terrorist bombing at the outdoor Cafe 
L'Historil killed 12 persons (5 French citizens, 4 Germans, 
and 3 Djiboutians) and maimed or wounded some 40 others. The 
Tunisian national charged with the crime is being held while 
legal investigation of the incident moves toward trial. All 
seven lawyers of Djibouti's bar have been appointed defense 
counsel . 

b. Disappearance 

There were no allegations of disappearance of persons for 
political reasons. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There are occasional allegations of cruel, inhuman, or 
degrading treatment or punishment, such as the beating of 
prisoners. There were no substantiated cases of such 
practices in 1987. 

While prison conditions are barely adequate, prisoners may be 
visited by their families and lawyers. Medical care is also 
available to prisoners. Public health personnel oversee 
prison conditions. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Still in an early stage of development, Djibouti's legal 
system is a hybrid of Djiboutian legislation and executive 
decree, French Napoleonic codified law, Koranic (Islamic) 
religious law, and the traditional law of the indigenous 
nomadic peoples. Crimes committed in urban areas are dealt 
with according to French criminal law and judicial practice. 
Other questions coming before the law, and offenses in 
Djibouti's sparsely populated hinterland, may be disposed of 
according to Islamic law or ethnic traditions. 

Suspected wrongdoers can be arrested after a warrant is issued 
by a judge. By government decree, a person may be held no 
more than 48 hours without being charged formally by an 
examining magistrate. A judge may release the accused on bail 
or personal recognizance, or order the accused jailed pending 
the court's verdict. A detainee must be told of his right to 
legal counsel. 

There is no forced labor in Djibouti. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Proceedings in civil court, criminal court, and the special 
state security court are open to family members and lawyers of 
those involved but are not open to the general public. The 
judiciary remains generally independent of influence, from the 
Government or the party in criminal matters but susceptible to 
influence in political cases. 

A historic Afar leader in Djibouti's independence movement now 
living overseas, Aden Robleh Awaleh, faces life imprisonment 
in Djibouti after trial and conviction in absentia on charges 
related to a politically motivated bombing and other criminal 
charges. Aden Robleh Awaleh now heads an overseas opposition 
party, the MNDID. Party followers were arrested in Djibouti 
shortly before the April 1987 presidential election for 



85 



DJIBOUTI 

was established in 1987. A number of Christian missionaries 
proselytize freely. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Djiboutians travel freely both inside and outside Djibouti. 
Passports are generally available to all Djiboutians. There 
are no currency controls. 

Djibouti's borders are porous. Pastoralists who eke out a 
living from this dry and arid terrain pass freely back and 
forth across the borders in pursuit of pasture and water for 
their herds. 

Over the last decade, tens of thousands of persons have 
entered Djibouti in flight from war, famine, political 
oppression, and deteriorating economies in neighboring 
Ethiopia and Somalia. There are approximately 13,000 refugees 
registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for 
Refugees (UNHCR) in Djibouti. By government decree (although 
difficult to enforce), all refugees are required to live in a 
refugee camp at Dikhil, in Djibouti's harsh interior. 
However, many registered refugees continue to live in and near 
Djibouti city. During the 8 years of its existence at Dikhil, 
the refugee center has developed into an economically 
functioning village in some respects more active than the old 
town itself. Both the international community under UNHCR 
coordination and the Government provide services to the 
refugees at Dikhil. 

Refugees who want to return to Ethiopia voluntarily may 
register to do so with the UNHCR. After a long hiatus due to 
drought in Ethiopia, actual voluntary repatriations resumed on 
December 8, 1986. As of September 1987, 3,397 Ethiopians had 
been repatriated voluntarily under UNHCR auspices. 

In addition to UNHCR-registered refugees, there are thousands 
of persons in Djibouti whom the Government considers illegal 
aliens. Responsible estimates of their number range as high 
as 20,000. The Government charges that these illegal aliens 
take jobs away from Djiboutians and are an unreasonable burden 
on an economy with an unemployment rate estimated at 50-70 
percent. During the Government's program to control illegal 
aliens who do not qualify as refugees, abuses have occurred. 
On December 20, 1986, five undocumented aliens (all 
Ethiopians), living in Djibouti illegally, died of suffocation 
while being returned against their wishes to Ethiopia in a 
railroad boxcar. The Government quickly expressed public 
regret over the deaths and promised an investigation and 
appropriate measures to prevent similar accidents. At the 
same time, the Government reaffirmed that deportation of 
illegal aliens was legal and in order. 

Late in May 1987, eight Somali students, who had applied to 
the UNHCR for protection as refugees, were returned to Somalia 
by Djiboutian security personnel before the UNHCR could 
determine whether they qualified for refugee status. 

Also in late May 1987, about 70 persons at the Dikhil refugee 
camp who had been refused refugee status threatened a hunger 
strike and reportedly burned a refugee camp tent and a 
Djiboutian flag. The Djiboutian gendarmerie responded to the 
violence by rounding up and immediately deporting 103 persons. 
It was later ascertained that among the 103 persons were 



86 



DJIBOUTI 

distributing leaflets supporting Robleh for president. Those 
arrested were quickly released without charge. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

In the past, there have been occasional reports of violation 
of a government decree that bars police entry into private 
homes without the resident's consent or without a legal order 
except in such extraordinary circumstances as preservation of 
public order. However, there were no reports of violations of 
rights of privacy, family, home, or correspondence during 1987. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Outside the one-party structure, Djiboutians generally do not 
enjoy the freedom of political public speech. However, there 
is little if any official interference in private speech, 
including political speech. 

Djibouti's radio and television stations and one newspaper 
(French-language weekly) are all government owned and 
operated. Government policy is to coordinate all official 
dissemination of information, ostensibly in the interest of 
national development. The news media occasionally look at 
shortcomings, inefficiencies, and even corruption within the 
government bureaucracy, but the Government itself is free from 
criticism. The media usually shy away from coverage of 
violence, crime, and ethnic strife. There have been 
occasional confiscations of foreign publications which contain 
commentary critical of the Government, though none occurred in 
1987. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Public meetings require government-issued permits, which may 
be refused for security reasons. No political meetings are 
permitted outside the framework of the one legal political 
party. With that important exception, Djiboutians are allowed 
to associate freely. Social, religious, cultural, and 
commercial associations are free from government interference. 

Labor's right to organize and to strike is legally recognized 
but severely restricted in practice. Workers are free either 
to join or not to join a union as they choose, and only a 
small fraction of Djiboutian workers are union members. 
Djibouti's sole national labor federation, the Union Generale 
de Travailleurs Djiboutiens (UGTD) , is government organized 
and controlled. The Government exerts some control over 
labor, especially through UGTD-af f i liated unions which 
represent workers at most large enterprises. Labor action is 
generally restricted to temporary work stoppages as ad hoc 
protests against dismissals or working conditions. Individual 
unions are free to maintain relations internationally with 
other labor organizations. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Freedom of religion is enjoyed by members of all faiths. 
Although more than 95 percent of the population is Muslim, 
Djibouti is officially a secular republic. There are several 
Christian churches in Djibouti, and a Coptic Christian church 



87 



DJIBOUTI 

was established in 1987. A number of Christian missionaries 
proselytize freely. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Djiboutians travel freely both inside and outside Djibouti. 
Passports are generally available to all Djiboutians. There 
are no currency controls. 

Djibouti's borders are porous. Pastoralists who eke out a 
living from this dry and arid terrain pass freely back and 
forth across the borders in pursuit of pasture and water for 
their herds. 

Over the last decade tens of thousands of persons have entered 
Djibouti in flight from war, famine, political oppression, and 
deteriorating economies in neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia. 
There are approximately 13,000 refugees registered with the 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 
Djibouti. By government decree (although difficult to 
enforce), all refugees are reguired to live in a refugee camp 
at Dikhil, in Djibouti's harsh interior. However, many 
registered refugees continue to live in and near Djibouti 
city. During the 8 years of its existence at Dikhil, the 
refugee center has developed into an economically functioning 
village in some respects more active than the old town 
itself. Both the international community under UNHCR 
coordination and the Government provide services to the 
refugees at Dikhil. 

Refugees who want to return to Ethiopia voluntarily may 
register to do so with the UNHCR. After a long hiatus due to 
drought in Ethiopia, actual voluntary repatriations resumed on 
December 8, 1986. As of September 1987, 3,397 Ethiopians had 
been repatriated voluntarily under UNHCR auspices. 

In addition to UNHCR-registered refugees, there are thousands 
of persons in Djibouti whom the Government considers illegal 
aliens. Responsible estimates of their number range as high 
as 20,000. The Governm.ent charges that these illegal aliens 
take jobs away from Djiboutians and are an unreasonable burden 
on an economy with an unemployment rate estimated at 50-70 
percent. During the Government's program to control illegal 
aliens who do not qualify as refugees, abuses have occurred. 
On December 20, 1986, five undocumented aliens (all 
Ethiopians), living in Djibouti illegally, died of suffocation 
while being returned against their wishes to Ethiopia in a 
railroad boxcar. The Government quickly expressed public 
regret over the deaths and promised an investigation and 
appropriate measures to prevent similar accidents. At the 
same time, the Government reaffirmed that deportation of 
illegal aliens was legal and in order. 

Late in May 1987, eight Somali students, who had applied to 
the UNHCR for protection as refugees, were returned to Somalia 
by Djiboutian security personnel before the UNHCR could 
determine whether they qualified for refugee status. 

Also in late May 1987, about 70 persons at the Dikhil refugee 
camp who had been refused refugee status threatened a hunger 
strike and reportedly burned a refugee camp tent and a 
Djiboutian flag. The Djiboutian gendarmerie responded to the 
violence by rounding up and immediately deporting 103 persons. 
It was later ascertained that among the 103 persons were 



DJIBOUTI 

8 persons to whom the UNHCR had granted refugee status. The 
UNHCR later reported that the registered refugees who had been 
improperly deported had subsequently returned to Djibouti 
safely. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Djibouti is a one-party state. The Issa-dominated RPP has 
been the only lawful political party since the 1981 outlawing 
of the Afar-dominated MPD following election-year violence. 
The party chooses all candidates for election to the presidency 
and the 65-member National Assembly, as it did most recently 
before the national elections held in April 1987. Although 
citizens are encouraged to vote, party control of the political 
process is such that Djiboutians have no democratic, nonviolent 
way to change their government. 

All of Djibouti's ethnic groups have generally been 
represented in the ruling cabinet, but a disproportionate 
share of the real power is held by the Issas in the civil 
service, the armed forces, and the RPP. Ethnic and 
extended-family relationships are said to be more important 
than individual qualifications in filling senior civilian and 
military positions. 

Within the one-party system, the April 1987 presidential and 
parliamentary elections were peaceful, with 87 percent of the 
almost 101,000 registered voters casting their ballots. As 
noted, some party followers of the overseas-based Afar leader 
Aden Robleh Awaleh were temporarily detained prior to the 
election for distributing leaflets supporting Robleh for 
president . 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

There are no private human rights organizations in Djibouti. 
The Government's relations with the UNHCR, responsible only 
for the protection of internationally recognized refugees, are 
good. There were no known instances of the Government 
ignoring queries on human rights during 1987. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The predominant status of the Issa in the civil service, the 
military, and the ruling political party probably amounts to 
de facto discrimination against the Afar based on ethnicity 
and language. 

Women in Djibouti have equal status with men under the 
French-inspired codified law and generally enjoy higher public 
status than do women in some Islamic countries in the region. 
Women are active in small trade, and many women are employed 
in offices and retail stores. However, no women hold senior 
positions in either the Government or the sole political 
party. Nomadic traditions of genital mutilation of young 
girls (particularly excision and inf ibulation) are practiced 
widely without government interference. 



89 



DJIBOUTI 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Djibouti has long suffered high unemployment. Although 
government policy strongly favors the employment of 
Djiboutians, expatriates hold about 20 percent of the 
positions in the formal sector and an even more 
disproportionate share of the higher-paying positions. 

Djibouti's labor laws and regulations, taken over from French 
law at independence, guarantee a worker in the formal sector 
wages and working conditions superior to those in countries 
with similar economic bases. In addition to high wages, a 
worker enjoys employer-funded social security, medical, and 
retirement benefits. A 50-year-old worker with 15 years of 
employment may retire at 80 percent of his salary. The 
minimum working age is 18. A 40-hour work week is standard. 

Many Djiboutians, refugees, and illegal aliens work in the 
significant informal sector in which their employment is not 
reported to the Government (in violation of Djiboutian labor 
law and regulation). This informal sector includes small 
trade; petty street vending of cigarettes, postcards, and the 
like; and domestic work. 



90 



EQUATORIAL GUINEA 



Equatorial Guinea is a former Spanish colony in central West 
Africa composed of a continental province (Rio Muni) and the 
island provinces of Bioko and Annobon. It has an estimated 
population of 340,000. The capital, Malabo, is on Bioko. The 
current regime, under President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, 
took power as a military government in the 1979 coup which 
overthrew President Macias and ended his 11-year, state- 
sanctioned policy of terror. A national Constitution was 
adopted in 1982, national and local assemblies chosen, and the 
military Government declared itself a civilian government. 
In December 1986, a single political party, the Democratic 
Party of Equatorial Guinea (DPEG) , was established by 
government decree, with the President as its head. Only 
members of the DPEG may hold public office. All adult 
citizens, even those who are not party members, are required 
to pay party dues. 

The Guinean police and military, with substantial assistance 
from Spain, have been reorganized totally since 1979. A 
300-man guard force provided by Morocco assists in protecting 
the President. In the first instance, internal security is 
the responsibility of the Minister of Territorial 
Administration through the national police force, the Guardia 
Civil . 

Most of the population lives by subsistence agriculture, 
fishing, and hunting, with per capita annual income 
approximately $260. The small wage economy, based on cocoa, 
lumber, and coffee, was devastated by the Macias years and the 
death or exodus of thousand's of trained and educated citizens. 
The economy remains extremely fragile, despite substantial 
foreign aid and attempts at reform, which include entrance 
into the West African Franc Zone, debt rescheduling, and 
efforts to attract much needed foreign investment, especially 
from France and the European Economic Community. A major 
barrier to economic development is the lack of a clear rule of 
law to protect and encourage foreign investors and indigenous 
entrepreneurs. Numerous plantations, abandoned by their 
Spanish and Nigerian owners during the Macias regime, were 
arbitrarily expropriated in 1984 and sold under very favorable 
terms to influential members of the current Government. In 
September and October, the Government began to reevaluate, 
thus far ineffectively, the questions of ownership and 
indemnity relating to these properties. 

The human rights situation in 1987 changed little from 
previous years, with continued reports of arbitrary arrests, 
citizen harassment by poorly paid police and military, 
discrimination against minority groups and migrant workers, 
and the use of forced labor. Freedom of speech and assembly 
are not respected. In addition, the Jehovah's Witnesses, 
declared an illegal sect in late 1985, faced increasing 
persecution in 1987 with disruptions of church services and 
arrests of members who were accused of "anarchic" and "immoral" 
practices. As part of a general amnesty decreed in October, 
five persons tried and sentenced under military law for 
involvement in the July 1986 coup attempt were released from 
prison. 



91 



EQUATORIAL GUINEA 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from; 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reported incidents of political killing. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no known disappearances. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Police methods are harsh and often include beatings of 
prisoners either to extract information or to punish offenders 
for alleged insolence or disrespect. The Government appears 
little inclined to curb such abuses. Arbitrary police 
beatings of politically powerless people, such as expatriate 
Nigerian and Cameroonian workers and members of Bubi and 
certain other indigenous tribes, continued in 1987. 

Mistreatment of prisoners is condemned officially but in fact 
is tolerated. Prisoners are dependent on their families for 
food. Prison conditions are unhealthy, and medical care is 
almost nonexistent. Prisoners often are forced to sleep and 
sit on the floor, occasionally denied exercise, or required to 
work on private plantations. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Despite constitutional provisions, there is no enforcement of 
the right of a person in detention to be charged or released 
within a certain period of time, to have access to a lawyer, 
or to be freed on bail. Arbitrary arrests by security forces 
or police are commonplace, usually on trumped-up charges to 
extort money. 

There were no known instances of any citizen being exiled 
abroad in 1987. The Government continued to round up 
so-called vagrant illegal aliens and ordinary citizens and put 
them to work. These roundups are a means of obtaining free 
labor and often are linked to preparation for important 
national days, the arrival of visiting dignitaries, and 
seasonal needs on the plantations of important government 
officials . 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The Ministry of Justice has made little progress in 
establishing a fully functional legal system, and the executive 
branch has been able to act without fear of judicial review. 
The justices on the highest Court, the Supreme Court, serve at 
the pleasure of the President, who replaced all but one justice 
early in 1986. Of 12 Supreme Court positions, only 4 have 
ever been filled at the same time. The tribunal provided for 
in the Constitution to decide constitutional issues has never 
been established. 

The exact number of political prisoners is unknown but is 
believed to be small. The Government does not admit to holding 
any political prisoners. There is still no information 
available on the fate of 26 persons tried in July 1983 on 



92 



EQUATORIAL GUINEA 

charges stemming from a coup attempt in May 1983. According 
to Amnesty International, the 26 defendants did not receive 
fair trials. The Government reported only that the majority 
of the accused received sentences varying from 5 to 10 years. 

Military tribunals hear all capital offenses, civil and 
criminal, in Equatorial Guinea. The most important recent 
court case took place in 1986 with the public 2-day trial of 
15 persons, including the Deputy Prime Minister and senior 
government and military officials, accused of plotting to 
overthrow the Government in July 1986. The defendants were 
represented by government-employed counsel, and the proceedings 
were broadcast on state radio and television. The military 
tribunal sentenced one defendant to death (a member of the 
military), four to long prison terms (18 to 20 years), and six 
to terms of 2 years, while four were stripped of government 
positions and set free. The single death sentence was carried 
out on the day of the verdict. Five of those sentenced to 
2-year terms were released from prison 1 year early, in 
October 1987, under a general amnesty decree signed by the 
President . 

The actual charges against the defendants ranged from 
violating three sections of the Constitution to violating a 
particular section of the military penal code. The 
constitutional provisions speak generally of citizens' 
obligations and are not criminal statutes. In addition, it 
was not clear how the military penal code applied to the 
civilian defendants. The speed of the judicial process, the 
questionable legal bases of the charges brought, the doubtful 
jurisdiction of the military tribunal, the lack of independent 
defense counsel, and the absence of appeal procedures raised 
serious questions whether the defendants received due process. 

The current court system, which often uses local customary 
law, is a combination of traditional, civil, and military 
justice, and operates in an ad hoc manner for lack of 
established procedures and experienced judicial personnel. It 
is not known how frequently people are denied trials since 
many detainees deal directly with the arresting authorities 
and resort to bribes to gain their freedom. Most trials are 
brief. In cases of petty theft or civil disputes, all parties 
are brought before a judge for trial. In civil and criminal 
cases, the judge often levies a fine in lieu of imprisonment. 
In cases involving senior officials, exclusion from public 
office and confinement to traditional villages are common 
means of punishment. 

Equatorial Guinea's estimated 15 lawyers work for the 
Government and consequently are unable to challenge government 
actions effectively. Laws are enacted by decree and are not 
published or otherwise effectively promulgated. As there are 
no libraries or independent resource facilities, a citizen is 
seldom able to determine what the laws are or whether he or 
she has been charged with a bona fide offense. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

There were reports of arbitrary interference with privacy but 
not with correspondence. There is a general suspicion that 
telephone conversations are routinely monitored. Search 
warrants are not usually used, even though they are required 



93 



EQUATORIAL GUINEA 

by the Constitution. There is no forced resettlement of 
population, and no interference with the right to marry or 
have children. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Open criticism of the Government is not permitted. The media 
that exist in Equatorial Guinea are government owned and 
operated. The single newspaper (published sporadically) is in 
fact a government bulletin. The radio and television stations 
transmit official government notices and imported 
entertainment, sports, and religious programs. There are no 
prohibitions on receiving foreign publications or periodicals, 
but for economic reasons there are no such publications for 
sale anywhere in the country. 

It is doubtful that the Government would permit the sale or 
distribution of publications openly critical of its conduct. 
School libraries require government permission to accept even 
donated books. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Citizens are not free to associate publicly with others to 
discuss political or economic matters, notwithstanding 
constitutional guarantees to the contrary. The Government 
does not permit opposition organizations and would not 
tolerate unsanctioned political rallies and assemblies. 
Private nonpolitical groups, such as professional 
organizations, churches and sports groups, generally require 
government approval and licensing. 

There are no labor unions, and there have been no attempts to 
organize workers. It is widely recognized that the Government 
would not permit a union to organize, especially in the cocoa, 
lumber, and coffee sectors which constitute the main economic 
resources. There is no significant industry in Equatorial 
Guinea . 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Until late in 1985, there had been complete freedom of 
religion in predominantly Roman Catholic Equatorial Guinea. 
In December 1985, the Jehovah's Witnesses and several small 
Pentecostal groups were banned, and their churches and meeting 
houses closed without explanation. In 1986 and 1987, 
Witnesses were placed under house arrest, harassed, and 
reportedly forced to do manual labor despite having been 
neither convicted nor charged with any crime. After several 
unsuccessful appeals, 10 noncitizen Witness missionaries were 
expelled from the country in September and October 1987, and 
80 local Witnesses were forbidden to practice their religion. 
Missionaries of several other faiths are still active and have 
government permission for their activities. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

There are no explicit restrictions on travel within the 
country, but anyone found without a job in any part of the 
country except his own town or village is subject to a period 
of forced labor and obligatory return to his place of origin. 



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EQUATORIAL GUINEA 

There were no reports of any additional Guinean refugees 
fleeing the country in 1987, but a large number of refugees 
from the former regime continue to reside in Spain, France, 
Cameroon, and Gabon. Many of them voice fear of repression 
from the current Government if they return and allege that 
their passports are restricted to prevent travel back to 
Equatorial Guinea. However, the poor state of the economy is 
probably the main reason many remain abroad. The Government 
has proclaimed repeatedly that returnees need not fear 
persecution but can engage in political activities only within 
the sanctioned system. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Citizens have only a hypothetical right to change their 
government by democratic means. President Obiang took power 
in 1979 in a military coup that toppled the Macias regime and 
used the 1982 plebiscite, which involved only approval or 
disapproval of the Constitution, to declare himself President. 
He will face reelection in 1989 under the present 7-year term 
established by the Constitution. Under the Constitution, a 
partially elected, partially appointed National Assembly was 
chosen. While the Assembly includes members of minority 
groups and is theoretically the legislative branch of 
government, it is powerless to take any action not sanctioned 
by the President or his Council of Ministers. According to 
the Constitution, the President also has the power to suspend 
virtually all rights provided for in the Constitution when a 
threat to national security or a national emergency exists, 
and the President himself decides when such a threat exists. 
He has not done so yet. 

Only members of the PDEG may hold public office, with the 
selection of all candidates being controlled by the party. In 
July 1987, another decree mandated that all adult citizens of 
Equatorial Guinea should pay dues to the party, whether or not 
they are members. Deductions are made from wages and salaries 
for deposit into the party's coffers. In October the 
mandatory payments to the DPEG were fixed at 3 percent of 
every adult's salary or wage. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government has denounced and reversed the savagery of the 
previous regime. It is willing to discuss human rights issues 
with international organizations. A United Nations human 
rights team visited Equatorial Guinea in January 1986, but its 
report had still not been released at the end of 1987. There 
are no human rights groups in Equatorial Guinea. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The law states that both sexes and all tribal groups are equal 
and entitled to the same rights and privileges. Members of 
the Fang clans, principally the Esangui, comprise more than 70 
percent of the population and dominate life in Equatorial 
Guinea, including the allocation of top government positions. 
The Bubi tribe comprises approximately 15 percent of the 
population and has historically been the majority on the 
island of Bioko, where the capital is located. Despite 
National Assembly elections in 1983 which returned a 



95 



EQUATORIAL GUINEA 

proportionate number of Bubi delegates, they have little 
effective political voice in government. Other tribal groups 
such as Playeros, Fernandinos, and even less favored Fang 
clans are similarly discriminated against in opportunities for 
economic and social advancement. 

For a variety of historical, cultural, and economic reasons, 
women are accorded a lower social status than men and have a 
correspondingly lower status and influence in society and 
government. Social tradition, and the fact that wom.en produce 
most of the basic staple food items, keep most women engaged 
in agricultural or domestic work. Many more males than 
females enter and graduate from secondary school. Women play 
only a minor role in politics. The highest positions held by 
women are: the Vice Ministers of Labor and Health, mayors of 
two small towns, 1 member (out of 60) of the largely 
ceremonial House of Representatives, and the Presidential 
Adviser for Public Health and Social Action. (The wife of the 
President fills the latter position.) 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Even when paid, salaries ere insufficient for ensuring a 
decent living, and many must take second jobs. Equatorial 
Guinea has a statutory minimum wage of roughly $34 monthly and 
an average wage of $68 monthly. Government working conditions 
include a maximum 48-hour workweek with a full day of rest 
each week .and regularly scheduled holidays. There is no 
effective monitoring of work hours and labor conditions 
outside of the Government. The minimum age for employment is 
16, but there is no enforcement of this law outside the 
cities, and children of various ages work, as necessary, to 
help support their families. 



96 



ETHIOPIA 



In September 1987, the Provisional Military Government of 
Socialist Ethiopia (PMGSE) declared itself to be the People's 
Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (PDRE) . Mengistu Haile Mariam 
remains the effective ruler, and the "new" Government boasts a 
Soviet-model Constitution which formally provides for a wide 
range of protections and civil liberties for its citizens, as 
well as an elected parliament, the Shengo. In reality. 
President Mengistu continues to exercise complete control over 
the majority of Ethiopians. Mengistu is also the Commander-in- 
Chief of the armed forces, the ultimate source of his power in 
the country. He also holds the top post of General Secretary 
in the Workers Party of Ethiopia (WPE), established September 
6, 1984, as the nation's only political party. The stated 
goal of the party is to transform Ethiopia into a Marxist/ 
Leninist state. 

Ethiopia deploys the largest standing army in Africa south of 
the Sahara, numbering over 250,000 men. It uses this force 
primarily to pursue military solutions to the armed 
insurgencies of varying intensities directed against the 
Government. Ethiopia also supports rebel movements fighting 
against its neighbors. The Government has an extensive 
internal security apparatus which uses a comprehensive system 
of surveillance and informers, including the kebeles (urban 
neighborhood associations) at the neighborhood level, to 
maintain its control over the population. 

The PDRE is committed to a centralized, planned economy based 
on "Socialist" principles. The economy currently suffers not 
only from civil strife (military expenditures take 20 percent 
of the budget), but also from ideological constraints, most 
visible in the Government's priority of funding for state 
farms in a nation of small, independent farmers. At the end 
of 1987, new drought and famine gripped Ethiopia. 

Ethiopia's record on human rights remained deplorable in 1987, 
notwithstanding adoption of the new Constitution which provides 
a legal basis for respect for human rights. The Government 
continued to exercise tight control over political processes, 
judicial functions, the media, labor, and education. Both 
government forces and members of longstanding insurgent groups, 
notably in Eritrea and Tigray, committed atrocities against 
prisoners and civilian populations. During 1987 the nationwide 
program of consolidating rural homesteads in new villages 
continued, often by implicit threats of force, and was 
sanctioned in the Constitution. The resettlement program 
resumed in late 1987, but the Government promised that it 
would be on a modest scale and on a purely voluntary basis. 
The Government unveiled a general plan aimed at ending the 
insurgencies, through the establishment of five autonomous 
regions, but at the end of 1987 details of the plan were 
lacking, and its practicality remained to be tested. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reported instances of extrajudicial executions 
in 1987. The Government has come to rely less on actual 
violence and more on the latent threat of violence to maintain 
political control. 



97 

ETHIOPIA 

b. Disappearance 

Although the Ethiopian Government increasingly has tolerated 
religious activity (the new Constitution also recognizes the 
right of religious freedom) , it has not explained the 
disappearance between 1979 and 1985 of a number of religious 
leaders and lay people, including the Patriarch of the 
Ethiopian Orthodox Church (1979), the leader of the Ethiopian 
Evangelical Mekane Yesus Church (1979), and a number of 
Jehovah's Witnesses. Some of these people cannot be located 
and are presumed to have been executed summarily or to have 
died. 

The well-publicized disappearance in May 1986 of the Ethiopian 
Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador 
to Canada, Berhanu Dinka, remains unresolved despite pressure 
by many Western governments for information concerning his 
whereabouts. No charges are known to have been filed against 
him, but there are unconfirmed reports that he was transferred 
in July 1987 from the "Third Police Station" (an Addis Ababa 
torture and interrogation center) to the so-called "Gebi 
Prison" in the basement of the National Palace. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The new Constitution notably omits the passage from the 1955 
Constitution prohibiting cruel and inhuman punishment. The 
use of torture by the Government persisted in 1987 but has 
declined from the levels during the period of "revolutionary 
terror" in the late 1970's. 

Torture has been used against members of most opposition 
groups, both those opposed for ideological reasons, such as 
the radically leftist Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party 
(EPRP) or the more moderate Ethiopian People's Democratic 
Alliance (EPDA) , and those opposed for a combination of 
ideology and ethnic/regional separatism, such as the Ethiopian 
People's Liberation Front (EPLF) in Eritrea, the Tigray 
People's Liberation Front in Tigray, and the Oromo Liberation 
Front among the Oromo. The EPRP and the EPDA have no open 
membership within Ethiopia at present, and the Government 
seems more concerned with the ethnic/regional opposition 
groups. Political prisoners are initially taken to central 
investigation centers operated by the Ministry of Interior, 
such as the Third Police Station in Addis Ababa cr the Mariam 
Gimki Center in Asmara. Interrogation is often combined with 
physical abuse, especially for those suspected of affiliation 
with an opposition or insurgency group. 

Common methods of torture include prolonged beating on the 
soles of the feet, prolonged suspension from a rope in a 
contorted position, death threats, mock executions, sleep 
deprivation, and submergence to the point of unconsciousness 
in tanks of dirty water. In June 1986, Amnesty International 
(AI) published a special report, "Political Imprisonment and 
Torture in Ethiopia," and appealed to the Ethiop: an 
Government, inter alia, to stop torture and safecjuard 
prisoners from ill-treatment. In two 1986 cases involving 
prosecutions of kebele officials for torture, AI reported the 
authorities had sentenced 14 kebele officials to 3-year and 
life imprisonment terms, while another received the death 
sentence. 



ETHIOPIA 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

While no accurate figures are available, some human rights 
groups outside Ethiopia estimate that the Government has 
incarcerated as many as 3,000 people for political reasons. 
Over half of these political prisoners have not been formally 
charged or sentenced. The new Constitution sets forth certain 
civil liberties for all Ethiopians, including prohibition 
against unreasonable search and seizure and a requirement that 
arrested citizens be arraigned in court within 48 hours. The 
Constitution also provides for arrest warrants, a fair trial, 
the right to protection against self-incrimination, and the 
right to counsel. These constitutional measures became 
effective on September 12, 1987, but the Government has yet to 
take any steps to implement them or to extend them to those 
already imprisoned at the time they came into effect. 
Widespread expectations of a general amnesty for political 
prisoners concurrently with the establishment of the PDRE did 
not materialize. 

Although the new Constitution emphasizes the seriousness of 
any treasonable act, it does not specifically limit the due 
process rights of those charged with offenses against the 
State. Nevertheless, Ethiopians suspected of antigovernmental 
actions or sentiments continue to be subject to arrest or 
detention by the police without charge or judicial review. In 
politically sensitive arrests, the Government generally prefers 
to operate in secret, taking the suspect from home at night. 
In most cases, political detainees are held incommunicado, 
without charge and without legal representation, at least 
initially, and sometimes for the length of their term of 
incarceration. The term of confinement for a suspect held 
without legal charge is subject to the whim of the detaining 
official or agent. Some prisoners continue to be held without 
charge 13 years after their detention. 

In 1987 about 25 people were arrested in Addis Ababa, Dire 
Dawa, and Gondar, reportedly after arranging for the 
surreptitious departure of Jews from Ethiopia. At the end of 
1987, they had not been charged or tried, and AI cited reports 
that several of them had been tortured. 

Arbitrary arrest is not limited to the politically suspect. 
Even people with no record of political activity or political 
affiliations have been arrested and detained for months or 
longer without explanation. In March 1987, the Government 
detained an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 unemployed Addis Ababa 
residents suspected of street crime. Those whose kebeles 
would not vouch for them were transported to a "resettlement" 
site in the countryside. 

Ethiopia has generated the largest number of refugees in 
Africa. There are more than 1 million Ethiopian refugees 
living in neighboring countries, and tens of thousands, many 
of whom cannot return to Ethiopia for fear of persecution, 
living abroad. 

There is no information that forced labor is practiced in 
Ethiopia. However, on the demand of the kebele officials, 
citizens are required to "volunteer" their services for 
frequent community work programs. Workers are also expected 
to "volunteer" to work extra hours and weekends, at no pay, so 
that factory quotas can be met. 



99 



ETHIOPIA 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

In the PDRE there continues to be no real separation between 
the executive branch and the judiciary. Courts are subject to 
political control and are responsive to the requirements of 
Ethiopia's leadership. The modern court system has a Supreme 
Court at the apex and includes magistrate courts and a Special 
Court of Appeal. While the civil court system operates 
relatively independently of politics, the criminal court 
system is more open to political manipulation. The special 
courts established for trying political crimes against the 
State were abolished with the adoption of the new Constitution 
in February 1987. The recent consolidation of the Ministry of 
Interior and Ministry of Public Security into a single ministry 
under the former head of Public Security implies a continuing, 
overriding priority for state security regardless of 
constitutional provisions for humane judicial procedures. 

AI and Western governments continue to press the PDRE to bring 
charges against, or to release, all political prisoners, 
including the 10 remaining members of the royal family 
detained since the Revolution. When political trials do take 
place, they are almost always held in secret with only the 
verdict (if even that) publicly announced. Prisoners cleared 
of charges or whose terms have been completed are not always 
promptly released from prisons. 

In practice, the right to a fair public trial is observed and 
respected in civil and criminal cases of a nonpolitical nature. 
These cases generally are based upon the submission of evidence 
in a public setting. Minor cases are tried at the kebele 
level, while more serious criminal accusations are tried in 
courts where the accused has access to court-appointed lawyers. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The Constitution provides for the "inviolability of the house" 
and protects against unlawful entry into private homes. In 
reality, as in the past, warrants are not used for searches of 
offices or private homes. However, the number of incidents of 
forced entry by government forces, which are often related to 
enforcing military call-ups, appeared to decrease in 1987, 
including in homes in regions of insurrection. 

Although the practice is generally decreasing, surveillance of 
persons, both visual or through use of listening devices, 
continues with no legal restraints. All mail is subject to 
government monitoring. Ethiopian citizens can be called in at 
any time for questioning by authorities and for mandatory 
kebele meetings, political rallies, or marches. Refusal to 
appear for any of the above may result in imprisonment without 
hearing . 

Local kebele association officials monitor urban Ethiopians, 
whereas peasant association leaders perform the same function 
in the countryside. These officials monitor visitors 
received, items brought in and out of houses, any meetings, 
and adherence to local curfews. Such surveillance and petty 
interference in the private lives of Ethiopian citizens is 
very much dependent on the makeup of the kebele and its 
leadership . 

Government proclamations designed to enforce Socialist 
patterns of work make it illegal for a private farmer to 



100 



ETHIOPIA 

employ laborers on his farm or to own more than one home. 
Such proclamations, however, are apparently ignored in some 
remote areas of the country. 

The Government's forced resettlement program which was halted 
following an international outcry late in 1985, was rife with 
abuses, including the wholesale separation of families and 
inhumane conditions of transport to resettlement sites up to 
700 kilometers distant. There were reports in 1987 that up to 
100,000 persons had returned to their native provinces. 
Nevertheless, an affirmation of the Government's commitment to 
resettlement is incorporated in Article 10 of the new 
Constitution, which protects the Government's right to "ensure 
that human settlement patterns correspond to the distribution 
of natural resources." In accordance with this commitment, 
the Government late in 1987 resumed the resettlement program, 
announcing plans to resettle 300,000 people in 1 year. By the 
end of 1987, however, only a few hundred people had been 
resettled. Preliminary reports indicated that these people 
had volunteered for resettlement to escape the drought, that 
families had been resettled as a unit, that they had been 
transported in buses adequate to the task, and that the 
resettlement sites were prepared to receive them. 

Progress was made in 1987 to reunite unaccompanied 
children/orphans with their families. Of the estimated 17,000 
unaccompanied children/orphans who were a byproduct of drought 
and resettlement, the Ethiopian Relief and Rehabilitation 
Commission has placed 9,137 with family members. Although the 
reunification effort continues, the Commission estimates that 
it may be impossible to locate the families of about 3,000 
children. 

The Government's mandatory "vi llagization" campaign, which 
collects scattered rural farmers into newly created villages, 
continued in 1987. It is sanctioned under Article 10, 
Sub-Article 3 of the Constitution, which states that "the 
State shall encourage the scattered rural population to 
aggregate in order to change their backward living condition 
and to enable them to lead a better life." According to the 
Government, 5,726,530 Ethiopians had been moved into such 
villages as of February 1987 (15 percent of the rural 
population). The Government has announced plans that call for 
31 percent of the rural population to be moved into villages 
by July 1988. Rural farmers cannot avoid participating in the 
program, and to date almost everyone living in areas scheduled 
for vi llagization has been moved into the new settlements. 
The program has proceeded in the Gondar region despite some 
scattered antigovernment violence in opposition to the program 
early in 1987. The Government has devoted few resources to 
this large program, so farmers must dismantle their own 
houses, transport them to the government-selected village 
site, and reassemble them. Social services such as schools, 
new roads, or clinics, though promised, are rare. The 
Government has repeatedly stated that this program is a 
precursor to collectivization of Ethiopia's agriculture. 
Despite this goal, over 90 percent of agriculture is still on 
an individual family basis. 

g. Violations of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts 

In 1987 armed conflict between government and various 
opposition forces continued in many parts of the country, 
especially in the regions of Tigray and Eritrea. In previous 
years, there were some reports from insurgent areas of summary 
executions of combatants and civilians by both government 



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ETHIOPIA 

forces and rebel groups. No specific instances were recorded 
in 1987. While in previous years there were instances of 
relief workers in insurgent areas being killed, no incidents 
occurred in 1987. However, a guerrilla group detained a 
Western humanitarian relief worker in October 1987; she was 
released in neighboring Sudan in November. Another guerrilla 
group seized two Western contractors working at a village 
settlement scheme in November 1987; they had not been released 
by the end of the year. Guerrilla forces continued 
indiscriminate mining of roadways as a battle tactic. 
Government and insurgent forces reportedly destroyed crops and 
homes in their opponents' areas. 

On October 23, 1987 insurgent forces attacked and burned 
without warning an unarmed and unescorted famine relief 
column, destroying 23 late-model trucks traveling to food 
distribution centers in Eritrea and Tigray. One driver was 
killed, and 400 tons of wheat, enough to feed 40,000 people 
for a month, was destroyed. This incident challenged the 
famine relief effort, particularly to regions which insurgents 
claim to dominate. The temporary severance of crucial 
transport links increased the possibility of famine afflicting 
hundreds of thousands of civilians. 

The number and treatment of prisoners held by government 
forces and rebel groups are not known. Some reports indicate 
that the treatment of PDRE prisoners by some guerrilla forces 
generally has been good. The Government apparently does not 
recognize those rebels captured in battle as prisoners of war, 
but rather classifies them as guilty of treason and either 
executes or imprisons them. The Government considers its own 
soldiers captured by insurgent forces as deserters who merit 
execution, imprisonment, or immediate reassignment to the war 
front if returned. The Government prevents relief 
organizations from providing communications with families of 
the PDRE prisoners in rebel hands. Of the insurgent groups, 
only the EPLF has begun to allow the International Committee 
of the Red Cross (ICRC) limited access to some of its 
prisoners . 

In addition, the Ethiopian-Somalia conflict continued to 
simmer in 1987. The PDRE has permitted the ICRC to visit 230 
of its Somali prisoners of war, who were captured during the 
1977 war between the two countries. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

There is no freedom of speech or press in Ethiopia. The 
Government owns and operates all information media and 
exercises censorship through editorial boards and the Ministry 
of Information. Expression of unauthorized political opinions 
or of views at variance with the official government line can 
result in imprisonment. Political, economic, and social 
policies in Ethiopia are formulated at top levels of 
government, then disseminated and monitored through the 
government-controlled media and government-organized citizen 
groups . 

The Government closely monitors the pronouncements of public 
officials, academics, and clergy. Some instructors and 
professors in secondary schools and at the university have 



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ETHIOPIA 

resisted the politicization of education. Academic freedom, 
although seriously circumscribed, especially in the political 
and social sciences, still finds limited expression at the 
university. In October 1987, students at two University of 
Addis Ababa campuses demonstrated against dormitory living 
conditions and the removal of the dean of students. About 10 
students were arrested for their alleged leadership role in 
the demonstrations but released a short time later. 

Books and magazines can be confiscated if deemed to contain 
sentiments opposed to the revolution. Foreign magazines and 
newspapers are not readily available since foreign exchange is 
not granted to purchase them. Foreign radio broadcasts are 
widely listened to in Ethiopia. There is no evidence of overt 
attempts by the Government to interfere with radio reception. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Notwithstanding constitutional provisions, assembly of any 
sort not previously approved by the Government is strictly 
forbidden under penalty of arrest. In contrast, attendance at 
government-sponsored rallies, meetings, and parades is 
frequently mandatory and enforced by a wide range of 
sanctions. Ethiopians, traditionally cautious in their 
associations with one another and with foreigners, have become 
even more so under the present regime. There is a pervasive 
system of informers and surveillance. Frequent or close 
association with foreigners can result in questioning, arrest, 
and detention. Professional associations, such as the Rotary 
and Lions clubs, are allowed to operate, though their 
membership and activities presumably are monitored by the 
Government. Trade and professional associations were 
reorganized in 1986 by order of the Workers Party of 
Ethiopia. New boards were selected for these groups from 
members approved by the party. 

Workers are not permitted to organize independently in 
Ethiopia, and labor/management negotiations are strictly 
controlled. Collective bargaining does not exist. Strikes 
and slowdowns are forbidden. The only labor organization 
allowed to operate is the government-controlled All-Ethiopia 
Trade Union (AETU) . The AETU, one of Ethiopia's mass 
organizations, is a political group used by the Government to 
implement its policies, expand party control within the 
workplace, and prevent work stoppages. Many of AETU's top 
leaders have been trained in Eastern Europe, and the 
organization has close ties to Soviet and Eastern European 
labor organizations. The 1985 report of the International 
Labor Organization (ILO) Committee of Experts criticized the 
mandatory, single trade union structure in Ethiopia and 
repeated its request that freedom of association be granted to 
rural workers and public servants. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Despite government attempts to deemphasize the importance of 
religion in Ethiopian life and to ensure Orthodox Church 
conformance with party policies, there has been a notable 
resurgence in recent years in religious observance and church 
attendance. The Government allows the Orthodox Church and the 
Muslim religion (each claims about 50 percent of Ethiopia's 
population) freedom of worship and proselytism, as stipulated 
in the new Constitution. The Government has appointed some 
officials to the Orthodox Church administration to ensure 
church conformity with party policies. Party members are 



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ETHIOPIA 

prohibited from worshiping, but this ban is not enforced. 
According to press reports, kebeles often discourage church 
attendance, generally by scheduling mandatory meetings on 
Sunday mornings. The Government nationalized most church 
property when it took power, and the church reportedly is 
dependent on annual government compensation payments to cover 
clergy salaries. 

Orthodox and Muslim holidays are recognized by the Government, 
and officials of both religions are allowed to exercise 
jurisdiction over civil matters such as marriage. However, 
the Government expunges references to any deity from dialog in 
television programs and films and forbids such references in 
government statements or publications. 

Some other religions, particularly foreign Protestant 
evangelical organizations, which found their activities 
sharply curtailed following the revolution, have experienced a 
general trend of greater tolerance by central and local 
government officials over the last 2 years. Local government 
officials allowed a number of churches that had been closed to 
reopen. In 1986 a number of church officials were released 
from detention including the General Secretary of the 
Mennonite Church (who had been detained since 1981) and 
leaders of the Ethiopian Evangelical Mekane Yesu church. The 
Government gives permits to foreign missionaries to enter and 
work in Ethiopia in limited numbers, although ostensibly as 
development specialists, not as missionaries. The Jehovah's 
Witnesses, however, remain totally banned. 

Ethiopia's small Jewish community (the Falashas) live in areas 
of insurgency (Tigray, Gondor) . Stories of "genocidal" 
actions by Ethiopian authorities or of highly brutal behavior 
toward Ethiopian Jews have not been substantiated by American 
visitors to these areas. Jews do suffer some economic 
discrimination, a holdover from prerevolutionary practices. 
During 1987 the Government continued to permit foreign 
visitors, including groups of American Jews, relatively 
unrestricted access to Falasha communities in the Gondar 
region. These communities also continued to receive 
assistance from the U.S. Government and private sources. 
Large numbers of Ethiopian Jews have surreptitiously left the 
country in recent years. The Government has attempted to 
block this exodus as part of its overall antiemigration policy 
(see Section l.d.). Those who have left Ethiopia are not 
permitted to return to visit family members, and family 
members (as with non-Jewish Ethiopians) are generally not 
permitted to emigrate on the basis of family reunification. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Although the new Constitution provides for freedom of movement 
and the freedom to change one's place of residence within 
Ethiopia, actual government practice is quite restrictive. 
Travel within Ethiopia is limited as a result of the 
insurgencies (several areas, mainly in the northern 
administrative zones, are closed to travel for security 
reasons). Permission is required for Ethiopian citizens to 
change their place of residence, and persons considered 
politically suspect can be forbidden to travel outside their 
home areas. Travel abroad by Ethiopians is closely controlled 
by the Government through the issuance of passports and 
mandatory exit visas. Passport applications require a letter 
of recommendation from the appropriate kebele head. Foreigners 



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ETHIOPIA 

in Ethiopia have always been required to obtain a travel permit 
for internal travel. In 1987 they occasionally were denied 
that permission, although most representatives of the United 
Nations and of foreign assistance programs and embassies, 
including U.S. officials, have been able to obtain permits to 
travel in connection with their assistance programs. 

Emigration is highly restricted, except in special 
circumstances such as marriage to or adoption by a foreign 
national. Leaving Ethiopia without authorization is a serious 
offense punishable by 5 to 15 years' imprisonment or, in 
exceptional cases, reportedly by death. Nonetheless, 
considerable illegal emigration occurs either under the 
subterfuge of travel abroad for business or to visit 
relatives, or by arduous treks overland and surreptitious 
crossing of borders. 

The Government recognizes the right of voluntary repatriation, 
and its proclamation of mass amnesty for Ethiopians living 
abroad (numbering more than 1 million) remains in effect. 
From 1983 to 1987, according to figures provided by the U.N. 
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , approximately 750,000 
Ethiopians spontaneously returned to Ethiopia from Sudan, 
Djibouti, and Somalia. Most of the returnees were rural 
people who returned spontaneously; the outflow of refugees 
during the same period was about 550,000. The PDRE supports 
UNHCR repatriation programs, which have successfully 
repatriated 3,397 Ethiopians from Djibouti since late 1986 and 
approximately 5,500 Ethiopians from Somalia during the same 
period. Many of the returnees benefited from UNHCR 
assistance. There is no evidence that they were mistreated or 
discriminated against upon their return. 

There have been no reports of the Government forcibly 
repatriating refugees from other countries. 

As a result of the civil war in southern Sudan, an estimated 
103,000 Sudanese refugees entered Ethiopia in 1987, bringing 
the total number of Sudanese refugees to about 225,000. The 
Ethiopian Government also reports that it has received at 
least 10,000 asylum seekers from Somalia. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Citizens of Ethiopia are not free to change the government. 
In fact, the new Constitution institutionalizes all power in 
the Workers Party of Ethiopia (WPE) , the President, his 
advisors, and the new Council of State. Political and 
economic policies are still dictated to the population with 
little opportunity for public debate. 

To give a semblance of democracy to the newly organized 
administration, the Government sponsored a referendum to 
approve the new Constitution and an election to choose the 
members of the 835-member national Shengo (one-chamber 
parliament) from slates of candidates approved by the WPE. 
Following public discussion meetings held throughout the 
country, the People's Review Board made several changes in the 
draft Constitution. Eighty percent of those voting reportedly 
voted in favor of the new Constitution. 

The WPE and its "mass organizations" purport to offer Ethiopian 
citizens a means of participation in government, but its real 
role is to ensure adherence to Marxist/Leninist principles. 



105 



ETHIOPIA 

The WPE, like its Soviet counterpart, is an exclusive 
group--not everyone can join. Some, such as higher-level 
government officials, are required to join if they wish to 
keep their jobs. Kebeles, the primary party/government 
control mechanisms at the local level, control housing 
allocation, basic food rationing, political indoctrination, 
and implementation of other government policies, such as 
registration and selection of youths for national military 
service. 

The new Constitution mandates the formation of assemblies 
(shengos) in the various regions including in the five newly 
created autonomous regions. Under the autonomy plan, the 
Assembly of the Eritrean Autonomous Region is to have the 
exclusive right to promulgate and enforce its own laws so long 
as they do not conflict with national laws. The assemblies of 
the other four autonomous regions, Assab, Tigray, Dire Dawa , 
and Ogaden, would require permission from the central 
government in order to formulate their own laws. The 
Constitution also lists a number of responsibilities reserved 
for the regional assemblies and their executive committees, 
including the preparation of social and economic plans and 
budgets for approval by the national Shengo . The PDRE hopes 
the autonomy plan will serve as the basis for a political 
solution to the various internal insurgencies, but 
implementation has not really begun. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government resists attempts by international and 
nongovernmental organizations to investigate human rights 
cases. It did not respond, for example, to AI ' s various 
inquiries in 1986, such as on the reported use of torture. 
There is no governmental or private body to investigate 
alleged human rights violations. Representatives of the ICRC 
in Addis Ababa are allowed to visit some of the prisoners of 
war from the 1977-78 war with Somalia. The ICRC does not have 
access to prisoners held by Ethiopian-backed rebel groups 
opposing the Governments of Sudan and Somalia. Ethiopia is 
not a signatory to any of the United Nations' human rights 
documents or the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The Constitution provides for the equality of all Ethiopians 
irrespective of nationality, sex, religion, occupation, social 
or other status. The highest government echelons are no 
longer dominated by the Amhara ethnic group but include many 
Oromos and a few Eritreans and Tigreans. Almost all senior 
government and political figures are of Christian origin, 
although the population is approximately 50 percent Muslim. 

While the rights of women are protected and promised 
additional government support by the Constiutution, sexual 
discrimination persists. Various U.N. studies indicate 
Ethiopian women are subject to many disadvantages, 
encountering, among other things, cultural and traditional 
biases, marriages imposed at a very young age, hard and 
time-consuming labor, inadequate employment opportunities, and 
subaverage wages in urban areas. Village leadership is 
invariably male, and all clergy are male. However, women in 
the principal Ethiopian cultures (Oromo, Amhara, Eritrea, and 



106 



ETHIOPIA 

Tigray) enjoy economic rights equal to those of men. They may 
inherit, sell, or buy property and engage in business. In 
some rural areas, women have a subservient status within the 
home, and child marriages remain common, despite opposition by 
the Government. Long-established practices, such as female 
circumcision remain prevalent despite government opposition 
among Ethiopian Orthodox and Muslim families and is less 
common with some other groups. 

The Revolutionary Ethiopian Women's Association, a mass 
organization created in 1980, has the proclaimed goal of 
improving the status of women. Women are poorly represented 
at the top echelons of government. There are, however, 46 
female members in the 835-member Shengo. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The new Constitution recognizes in principal the right to work 
and to rest. Given high unemployment, there is pressure for 
existing jobs in the modern economy. Accordingly, the minimum 
age of 14 for nonfarm labor seems to be respected. The 
maximum legal workweek of 48 hours also is generally respected 
in practice, but, as noted, there is much volunteer labor to 
meet factory or office quotas, and government workers receive 
little of their promised time off. Health and safety codes 
for the workplace are rudimentary and remain unenforced. 

The minimum wage in Ethiopia is about $24 per month. 
Additional allowances effectively raise the minimum wage of a 
full-time employee to about $34. Day laborers in the 
agricultural sector receive almost $1 per day plus some 
payment in kind (shelter or a meal, for example). Day 
laborers in the urban areas receive almost $1.50 per day plus 
transportation to and from the workplace. The minimum wage 
has been under review for some time without decision. 



107 



GABON 



Gabon has a single-party political system in which effective 
political power is concentrated in the presidency. That 
office has been held since 1967 by President Omar Bongo, who 
is also head of the party. A March 1983 amendment to the 
party constitution restricts candidacy in future presidential 
elections to the "President-Founder of the Democratic Party of 
Gabon," thus reserving presidential candidacy for President 
Bongo. He was reelected President on November 9, 1986. In 
practice, presidential power is limited by the complexity of 
the governmental structure and the diffusion of power through 
45 cabinet-level officials led by a prime minister. A 
120-member National Assembly is elected from slates chosen by 
the single party and meets regularly, but it has little real 
power . 

Although still a developing country, Gabon has one of the 
highest per capita incomes (about $3,000 in 1987) in 
sub-Saharan Africa due to its significant petroleum and 
mineral resources and its small population. While income 
distribution is skewed in favor of the modern urban sector as 
opposed to the traditional agricultural sector, most Gabonese 
have benefited in some measure from the country's strong 
economy. Nevertheless, the drop in world oil prices beginning 
in late 1985 has led to a sharp contraction in the economy 
which will likely continue in 1988. In general, economic 
performance has benefited from longstanding government 
policies supporting private enterprise and encouraging foreign 
investment . 

There was no basic change in the human rights situation in 
1987. The country's 1961 Constitution guarantees protection 
and respect for the integrity of the person and, with isolated 
exceptions, these rights are respected in practice. Political 
rights, however, are not guaranteed under the Constitution, 
and active political opposition to the sole legal party is not 
permitted. There is no evidence of systematic police or other 
repression of the population. Gabon released the last of its 
political prisoners in 1985. A number of Jehovah's Witnesses, 
arrested in late 1986 for attending services, received short 
or suspended sentences and fines in 1987. The sect has been 
banned since 1970 for alleged antigovernment attitudes. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no known political killings or summary executions. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no known cases of abductions or hostage-taking by 
government o'r any other groups. The authorities are sometimes 
slow to advise the families of accused criminals or detainees 
who are arrested, but there has been no evidence of attempts 
to suppress news of an arrest. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

In past years the political opposition group, the Movement for 
National Recovery (MORENA) , based in Paris, alleged that 



108 



GABON 

several people detained in the Libreville prison on political 
charges were mistreated or kept in degrading conditions. 
However, family members reported no serious mistreatment, and 
these allegations have not been repeated in the last several 
years. Police are believed to be rough but not brutal in 
their treatment of suspected criminals. Prison conditions are 
harsh. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

In Gabon, "acts against the security of the State" and 
"actions against the Chief of State," which can include 
advocating a multiparty system, are punishable crimes. There 
were no reports in 1987 of detention without trial of persons 
accused of violations of criminal law. Gabonese law, amended 
in September 1983 and ratified by the National Assembly early 
in 1984, provides guarantees against arbitrary detention 
according to clearly articulated judicial procedure which is 
observed in practice. Previously, there was no legal 
protection against arbitrary detention. 

Forced labor is not used as a means of political coercion or 
racial or social discrimination. Some prison sentences for 
serious crimes include hard labor as part of the sentence. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The legal system, based upon French law, customary law, and 
the 1961 Constitution, gives the President a powerful role and 
functions fairly effectively. The right to a fair public 
trial is guaranteed by the Constitution and has generally been 
respected in practice in criminal cases. In 
security/political cases, however, there has been more 
controversy and inconsistency. A 1982 trial of 29 alleged 
members of MORENA took place in public with representatives of 
the international press and Amnesty International present, 
while a 1983 trial of four political dissidents took place in 
secret. The charges leveled against the accused were 
basically the same in both cases, namely, printing and 
distributing antigovernment tracts and encouraging the 
Government of France to use its influence in Gabon to bring 
about a multiparty political system. No known political 
prisoners are currently being held. All those convicted in 
the 1982 trial were granted full pardons by President Bongo on 
June 19, 1986. In 1987 President Bongo continued the practice 
of commuting prison sentences on New Year's day for 
well-behaved first offenders who were not convicted of first 
degree murder or armed robbery. Life terms were reduced to 20 
years, and most other terms were cut in half. 

The Gabonese court system is modeled on the French judicial 
system. Trial courts hear questions of fact and law in civil, 
commercial, social, criminal, and administrative cases. A 
second level of appeals courts is divided into two general 
appellate courts, with a separate appeals court for criminal 
cases. Gabon's highest judicial body, the Supreme Court, is 
divided into four chambers. There are also three exceptional 
courts: a military tribunal which handles all military 
offenses, a state security court, and a special criminal court 
which deals with fraud and embezzlement of public funds by 
officials. 

The judiciary is implicitly susceptible to executive 
influence, since Gabon's Constitution gives the President the 
authority to appoint, transfer, and dismiss judicial officials. 



109 



GABON 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The various police and security units monitor alleged dissident 
political activity, including dissident telephone 
conversations, but interference in the daily life of the 
populace is relatively rare. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

There are limits on these rights in Gabon. No direct public 
criticism of President Bongo is permitted, and no advocacy of a 
multiparty political system by the media or individuals is 
tolerated. The country's single daily newspaper, which is 
government owned, regularly prints columns attacking alleged 
inefficiency or corruption in various government offices. One 
leading journalist was fired in October 1987 when a scathing 
column reportedly hit too close to home for some senior 
government officials. Foreign magazines and newspapers, which 
sometimes criticize the President, notably French publications 
and magazines printed elsewhere in Africa, are seized 
occasionally by the police, and a few publications are banned. 
Journalists are considered to be state employees and are 
expected to expound on themes as directed by the Government. 
The policies of the Government are occasionally debated in 
public forums. The President sometimes holds press conferences, 
and his ministers have submitted to lively direct questioning 
on television on a broad range of domestic policy issues such 
as education, public housing, and transportation. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Political activity outside the Democratic Party of Gabon is 
illegal. The Government does not interfere in the affairs of 
nonpolitical organizations. In some sectors, for example, 
sports clubs and social service organizations have been formed. 

Labor unions may organize but must be affiliated with the 
government-sponsored Labor Confederation of Gabon (COSYGA) , 
which is considered a specialized organ of the Democratic Party 
of Gabon and the sole labor federation. The Labor Code (1978) 
and the General Convention of Labor (1982) govern general 
working conditions and benefits for all sectors. Unions in 
each sector negotiate with management over specific pay scales, 
working conditions, and benefits applicable to their industry. 
Representatives of labor, management, and government meet 
annually to agree on the minimum wage, which is determined 
within guidelines provided by the Government. Under Gabonese 
law, all strikes are illegal which occur before remedies 
prescribed under the Labor Code have been exhausted. No 
strikes were reported in 1987, although in previous years 
workers have organized strikes or job actions over wages and 
working conditions. The Labor Confederation of Gabon is a 
member of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity. 

It is estimated that over half of Gabon's 90,000 salaried 
private sector workers are unionized. Government employees are 
not permitted to belong to unions. Agreements reached between 
labor and management in each sector also apply to nonunion and 
expatriate labor. According to the Labor Code, workers may 
individually or collectively take complaints of code violations 
to arbitration and may appeal to labor and national courts. 
These provisions are respected in practice. 



no 

GABON 

c. Freedom of Religion 

The Constitution guarantees religious freedom and tolerance. 
However, proselytizing has sometimes been discouraged. In 1970 
a presidential decree banned several small syncretistic sects 
and the Jehovah's Witnesses, and declared illegal the practice 
of these "cults." This ban was believed to be the product of 
government suspicions that these religious groups were involved 
in antigovernment activities. The 1970 decree was reiterated 
in 1985. On Christmas Day 1986, security forces in Port 
Gentil, Gabon's second largest city, arrested 24 men for 
attending a Jehovah's Witnesses service, considered a violation 
of the presidential ban on Witnesses' activities. Their trial 
ended January 31, 1987; 21 received suspended sentences, and 3 
were sentenced to 2 months in prison and each fined about 
$300. They are now free. In the aftermath of this incident, 
government officials in the human rights area commenced a 
dialogue with respected Gabonese Jehovah's Witnesses with a 
view to working out a modus vivendi . 

As a general rule. Christian, Muslim, and animist religions all 
flourish in Gabon, and public worship is unrestricted. There 
is no political or economic discrimination because of religious 
preference. A number of different religious groups operate 
schools. In February 1987, President Bongo took the 
extraordinary step of transferring to the Ministry of National 
Education the administration of 150 schools run by the 
Protestant Evangelical Church of Gabon. The Government said 
the move was necessary to minimize the impact on school 
children of a 15-year-old leadership struggle which has torn 
that church apart and compromised its institutions. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Movement within the country and return to Gabon from abroad are 
normally not restricted by the Government. Government 
employees, however, must obtain permission to travel abroad, 
and private citizens must obtain exit permits. Immigration 
laws and presidential decrees promulgated in mid-1986 imposed 
heavy monetary guarantee requirements on non-French expatriates 
working in Gabon and levied $100 exit visa fees for each 
departure from the country. Since mid-1983, the Government has 
slightly tightened restrictions on the entry and resettlement 
of displaced persons, but many persons who have been deemed to 
have a "well-founded fear of persecution" in their country of 
origin have been given permission to stay in Gabon. There have 
been no reported cases of involuntary repatriation. Those 
refugees or displaced persons who wish to repatriate 
voluntarily are allowed to do so. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Gabon is governed by a centralized, single-party regime in 
which President Omar Bongo exercises most political power. 
Citizens are unable to change the one-party political system 
and therefore cannot change the party in power through the 
electoral process. Major political and economic decisions are 
made by the President, usually in consultation with cabinet- 
level officials. This group of 45 includes representatives of 
all the country's major ethnic, geographic, and political 
groups. Through this mechanism, Gabon's varied interest groups 
are heard, given access to political patronage, and consulted 
on national resource distribution. The Fang, an ethnic group 



Ill 



GABON 

comprising about 35 percent of the population, feel themselves 
to be underrepresented. Fear of Fang dominance by the 
remaining 65 percent has contributed to the President's 
political control. The need to maintain the balance of 
interests represents, therefore, the major check on 
presidential power. The very size and complexity of the 
government structure is another significant factor. Opposition 
political parties are not permitted. Membership in the single 
political party is open to all Gabonese but is not required. 
Elections below the presidential level are sometimes contested, 
but all candidates must be approved by the Democratic Party of 
Gabon. The Central Committee of the ruling party was expanded 
in September 1986 and for the first time included two former 
members of the MORENA opposition group. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

President Bongo has invited representatives of Amnesty 
International and other human rights organizations to visit 
Gabon. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees 
functions in Gabon under the aegis of the United Nations 
Development Program. Gabon in 1987 nominated a candidate to 
the Africa Human Rights Commission. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

In recent years, women have played an increasing role in r.he 
economic, political, and cultural life of the country, 
particularly in urban areas. The Government and party have 
promoted women's rights, including formation of the National 
Commission for the Promotion of Women in 1984, which called for 
increased support for health care, nutrition, and literacy 
programs for women. The cabinet reshuffle on January 6, 1987, 
vaulted a woman into full ministerial rank with the naming of 
Sophie Ngwamassana as Minister of Justice. Four other women 
occupy cabinet rank positions as secretaries of state. In 
September 1986, five women became members of the Political 
Bureau of the Democratic Party of Gabon, the first women to 
serve at this level of the party. Women are also represented 
in the judiciary and occupy 17 seats in the National Assembly. 

Nevertheless, in rural Gabon women still fill largely 
traditional roles built around family and village. Onerous 
duties, such as hauling water, are being lightened as piped-in 
water and electricity are gradually introduced in more villages. 
The Government's policy of "regroupment"--encouraging the 
voluntary consolidation of small rural communities into larger 
villages along a road--is designed to enhance delivery of public 
services such as water, electricity, and schooling and has the 
effect of improving living standards for rural women. 

Access to the Government's social programs is open to all 
Gabonese citizens on a nondiscriminatory basis. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Labor legislation provides broad protection to workers. The 
minimum wage for unskilled labor since April 1985 has been 
about $200 per month for Gabonese and about $150 for 
foreigners. Owing to labor shortages, most salaries are much 
higher. There has been little unemployment for Gabonese 



112 



GABON 

wishing to enter the wage economy, though it is increasing as 
the economy reacts to the drop in oil prices. 

No minor below the age of 16 may work without the authorization 
of the Ministries of Labor, Public Health, and Education. It 
is rarely granted, and few employees in the modern sector are 
below the age of 18. Work over 40 hours per week must be 
compensated with overtime, and the workweek must include a 
minimum rest of 48 consecutive hours. Pregnant women have a 
right to 14 weeks of leave during pregnancy, including 6 weeks 
before delivery. The Labor Code describes enforcement of 
occupational health and safety standards, which are established 
by decree of the Minister of Health. These standards are 
enforced by the Government. 



113 



THE GAMBIA 



A former British colony on the West African coast. The Gambia 
is a parliamentary democracy with an elected president. Until 
a bloody coup attempt in July 1981, The Gambia had a history 
of political stability under the leadership of its only 
President since independence in 1965, Sir Dawda Jawara. His 
ruling People's Progressive Party (PPP) has dominated the 
Parliament, but several opposition parties actively participate 
in the political process. Two new political parties were 
formed in 1986 and joined the ruling party and the existing 
opposition National Convention Party in contesting the 
parliamentary and presidential elections held in March 1987. 
President Jawara was reelected by a large margin, and PPP 
candidates won an overwhelming majority in the Parliament. 
While there were some allegations of fraud, none were 
substantiated, and the elections were judged by most observers 
to be free and fair. 

Discussions on the process of confederation with Senegal 
continued during 1987, albeit slowly, focusing largely on the 
economic area. The Gambia has a small army with an attached 
naval unit organized and trained by British officers. One 
company of The Gambian army has been integrated with 
Senegalese troops into a confederal battalion led by a 
Senegalese officer. The Gambia also has a gendarmerie of 
about 500 members, headed by a Senegalese. 

The Gambia's estimated population of 784,000 consists largely 
of subsistence farmers growing rice and groundnuts (peanuts), 
the country's primary export crop. The Gambia continued in 
1987 a stringent program of economic reform which has been 
praised by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, 
and other donors, and has allowed The Gambia to reschedule its 
debt and receive critical new loans. 

The Gambia continued the human rights improvement begun in 
1985 with the lifting of the state of emergency. In April 
1987, the President, under the "prerogative of mercy" provision 
of the Constitution, granted remission of unserved sentences 
to 10 persons, many of whom were convicted of treason and 
other crimes connected with the 1981 coup attempt. He 
followed this action in May with remission of sentences for 
another 24 persons. Fifty-nine persons remain in prison, 
serving sentences for crimes committed in connection with the 
1981 coup attempt. The President has commuted all death 
sentences to life in prison. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no instances of political killings. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no known allegations of abduction or secret 
detention by the Government or by any other group. 



114 



THE GAMBIA 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The Constitution contains prohibitions against torture and 
other cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment. There were no 
allegations o£ torture in 1987. Prison conditions are severe, 
and there have been occasional reports of mistreatment of 
prisoners. The Government has expressly disapproved of such 
practices. There are segregated prison facilities for men and 
women of both maximum and minimum security types. The 
Government allows prison visits by representatives of the 
local Red Cross and by close family members. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Based on British legal practice, well-developed constitutional 
and legal procedures govern the arrest, detention, and trial 
of persons accused of crimes. Under these procedures, a 
detained person must be brought to trial within 1 week of 
arrest. This waiting period, however, can be extended twice, 
making 21 days the maximum period of detention before trial. 

The Government scrupulously observed legal procedures in 
handling the 1,008 persons detained after the coup attempt. 
Under the Emergency Act of 1981, which was abrogated in 
February 1985, the Government ordered the detention of persons 
who were considered to have been involved in acts prejudicial 
to public safety for up to 14 days without a detention order 
but with the right to legal counsel. 

The Labor Administration Act prohibits forced labor, and there 
have been no indications that it is practiced. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

There were no known political prisoners in The Gambia at the 
end of 1987. Sixty-six persons were sentenced to death--after 
lengthy public trials--for crimes committed in connection with 
the 1981 coup attempt. All the cases have now gone through 
appeal, and the President in each death penalty case brought 
to him has granted executive clemency in commuting the 
sentence to life in prison. No executions have taken place. 
One of the 1981 coup leaders was arrested in 1985, tried, and 
sentenced to death in 1986. His case was appealed before the 
Criminal Appeals Court, and the sentence was reduced to 20 
years. To help discourage future coup attempts. The Gambia 
Parliament enacted a law in May 1986 which imposes the death 
penalty for treason, but which also includes the safeguard 
that a person cannot be convicted of treason on the 
uncorroborated statement of only one witness. 

Three kinds of law operate in The Gambia: general, Shari'a, 
and customary law. Shari'a, governing Muslims, is observed in 
marriage and divorce proceedings. Customary law covers 
marriage, inheritance, divorce, land tenure and utilization, 
local tribal government, and all other civil and social 
relations originating in the traditional religious and tribal 
situation of the country. General law, based on English 
statutes and modified to suit The Gambia context, governs 
criminal cases and trials and most organized business 
practices. If there were a conflict between general law and 
Shari'a, general law would prevail. 

The Constitution provides criminal defendants with the 
traditional rights of the English legal system, such as 



115 



THE GAMBIA 

presumption of innocence, the right of the accused to be 
informed promptly of the charges, and the right to a public 
trial. If released on bail, the accused person need not come 
to trial until the investigation is completed, and there 
apparently is no maximum time limit for investigations. 
Appeals normally proceed from the Supreme (trial) Court to the 
Court of Appeals, the country's highest tribunal. 

While the judiciary operates independently and is free of 
government interference, judges are appointed by the 
Government. Because of the shortage of legal professionals in 
The Gambia, the legal system is staffed in part by judges and 
prosecuting and defense attorneys from neighboring 
English-speaking countries having the same basic legal system 
as The Gambia. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The Constitution provides guarantees, which are respected in 
practice, against arbitrary search of person and property. 
The Constitution permits the voluntary submission by a suspect 
to search, or a mandatory search if it is reasonably required 
in the interests of national defense or public welfare. Under 
the criminal code, search warrants based on probable cause are 
issued by magistrates upon application by the police. There 
are a few police and military check points in and around 
Banjul. Periodically, drivers are stopped and vehicles are 
searched. 

The rights of family are of extreme importance in The Gambia's 
conservative Muslim society. Marriage, the raising of 
children, and religious instruction are regulated by a 
combination of personal preference and ethnic and religious 
tradition. The Government does not normally intrude in family 
matters. There is no effort to censor or control personal 
correspondence or communications. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Constitution provides for press freedom, and the 
Government does not attempt to censor published materials, 
whether they originate within or outside the country. 
However, the Emergency Act, which was abrogated in 1985, did 
have an inhibiting effect on criticism of the Government by 
the few independent newssheets. In practical terms. The 
Gambia, with its small, mainly rural, largely illiterate, and 
multilingual population, does not support an active press. 
There are no daily newspapers. There is a government 
newspaper and a People's Progressive Party newspaper which 
come out on a weekly or biweekly basis. There are several 
independent, intermittently published, mimeographed newssheets. 
Both the opposition and the independent press are sometimes 
very critical of the Government. There is, however, some 
degree of self-censorship in the government-owned media, which 
exercises restraint in reporting criticism of the Government. 
There is no television in The Gambia, although Senegalese 
broadcasts can be received. The Government dominates the 
media through Radio Gambia, but there have been no reported 
instances of government interference with the one commercial 
radio station which mainly broadcasts music. Foreign 
magazines and newspapers are available in the capital. 



116 



THE GAMBIA 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

In general, there is no interference with the freedom of 
association and assembly, which is provided for in the 
Constitution. The Government almost always grants permits for 
meetings but requires that these meetings be open to the 
public. One organization, the Movement for Justice in Africa, 
which was implicated in the 1981 coup attempt, is banned. 

The Labor Administration Act specifies that workers are free 
to form associations and have the right to organize and 
bargain collectively. However, trade unions are small and 
fragmented and are a minor element in Gambian economic and 
political life. Less than 20 percent of the work force is 
engaged in the modern wage sector of the economy, where unions 
normally are active. The Labor Administration Act authorizes 
strikes, but because of a required 14-day cooling-off period 
(21 days in essential services), government conciliation 
efforts, and the poor bargaining strength of the unions, few 
strikes actually occur. 

The Gambia Workers Confederation, which is supported by the 
Government, is an umbrella organization covering about 16 
unions. Another umbrella union. The Gambian Workers Union 
(GWU) , which was banned in 1982, has recently reorganized with 
government approval. The GWU was originally banned in the 
late 1970's for an illegal strike, but the ban was lifted in 
1982 and then reapplied. The Union is currently in the 
process of regaining its prior support. Union members have 
the freedom to attend meetings outside the country. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

The constitutional provisions of freedom of conscience, 
thought, and religion are observed in practice. The State is 
secular, although Muslims constitute over 90 percent of the 
population. The schools provide instruction in the Koran for 
Muslim students. Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, 
freely practice their religion. There is a small Baha'i 
community in Banjul. Missionaries are permitted to carry on 
their various mission-related activities. There is no 
evidence of discrimination in employment, education, or in 
other areas of Gambian life on religious grounds. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

The Constitution provides for freedom of movement, subject to 
conditions protecting public safety, health, and morals. 
There is no restriction on freedom of emigration or freedom of 
return. Internally, police and military checkpoints exist in 
and around Banjul, but there is no evidence that police harass 
travelers. Because of historic and ethnic ties with the 
inhabitants of Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Mauritania, 
people tend to move unregulated across borders, which are 
poorly marked and difficult to police. Under the Confederation 
Treaty of 1981, neither Gambians nor Senegalese need passports 
or visas to travel to the other country. The Gambia also 
recognizes the Economic Community of West African States' 
(ECOWAS) protocol which allows entry of ECOWAS country 
citizens up to 90 days without visas. 

Refugees fleeing persecution or unrest in other countries are 
not numerous in The Gambia, but the Government and people have 



117 



THE GAMBIA 

a reputation for tolerance. There have been no reported cases 
of refugees being forcibly deported. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The chief executive (the President) and the members of the 
legislature (Parliament) are popularly elected, as are the 
district councils and the chiefs, who exercise traditional 
authority in the villages and compounds. Citizens must be at 
least 18 years of age to vote. Balloting is secret, and 
careful measures are employed to assure that illiterate voters 
understand the choices and voting procedure. 

A functioning multiparty system exists in The Gambia even 
though the People's Progressive Party has been in power since 
independence. The principal opposition party, the National 
Convention Party (NCP) , contests both national and district 
elections. Two newly-formed opposition parties. The Gambia 
People's Party (GPP) and the People's Democratic Organization 
for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), contested the March 
1987 presidential and parliamentary elections. Campaigning 
was vigorous, active, and open by all parties. The ruling PPP 
won by an overwhelming majority and now holds 31 of 36 
elective seats in the Parliament. 

Only one (the NCP) of the three opposition parties won seats. 
The opposition charged that the election was manipulated by 
the Government but could not provide evidence to support its 
allegations. The opposition also charged, with some 
justification, that the PPP benefited from its control of 
Radio Gambia and access to government vehicles for campaigning. 
Overall, however, the election was considered by observers to 
be free and fair. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government permits visits of international human rights 
organizations to observe the conditions of detainees and the 
trial process. There were no reported requests by such 
organizations for investigation of alleged human rights abuses 
in The Gambia during 1987. 

The Government is responsive to charges of human rights 
violations. When Amnesty International criticized the 
Government for the use of chains and shackles on prisoners, 
they were removed. The Gambia is a member of the United 
Nations Human Rights Commission and of the newly created 
African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, which it has 
offered to host in Banjul. The Government has also proposed 
the creation of a quasi-governmental African Center for Human 
Rights Research. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The people are overwhelmingly Muslim, and 85 percent of the 
population live in villages. While personal initiative and 
choice are valued, rights and privileges are generally 
collective. Traditional conservative values, especially about 
women, are changing, but very slowly. Marriages are still 
often arranged, and Muslim tradition allows for polygamy. In 
villages the women continue to perform work in the field and 



118 



THE GAMBIA 

provide for the majority of local food production. Women also 
play an important role in the small, modern wage sector of the 
economy. Most are in lighter or semiskilled jobs (e.g., 
assembly work, handicraft shops, bus conductors), very few are 
in skilled trades (e.g., carpentry, auto repair), and a small 
but growing number are in midlevel supervisory positions 
(e.g., tourist hotels and banks). There is no wage or 
benefits discrimination for jobs that are performed both by 
men and women. Females comprise over one-third of the 
students in primary school, and, with growing educational 
opportunities, women participate increasingly in the 
professions and in political life. The Minister of Health and 
the Parliamentary Secretary in the President's Office are 
women. In addition, there are women in prominent positions in 
the civil service as department heads and undersecretaries. 
There is a women's bureau in the Office of the President which 
actively promotes debate on women's issues. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

In the small industrial sector of the economy, labor cards 
authorizing employment of youths are generally not issued 
until they reach the age of 16 and never below the age of 14. 
This control on child labor does not apply to customary chores 
on family farms. Minimum wages and hours of work are 
determined by the Joint Industrial Council, pursuant to the 
Labor Administration Act, which has representation from 
employees, employers, and government. These minimum wages, 
however, are well below the actual rates paid in the 
marketplace. For example, the minimum wage for an ordinary 
unskilled laborer is approximately 75 cents per day for an 
8-hour day, but in fact such workers now receive about $2.15 
per day. Occupational safety and health are covered by the 
Factory Act under which the Minister of Labor is given 
authority to regulate factory health and safety, accident 
prevention, and dangerous trades, and to appoint inspectors to 
ensure compliance. However, this system is less than fully 
satisfactory owing to the shortage of inspectors. The 
Government recently announced that it will submit to 
Parliament a new labor code to replace obsolete labor laws and 
improve labor conditions, and an Industrial Injuries 
Compensation Act to replace the existing Workmen's 
Compensation Act. With these changes, the Department of Labor 
will also be strengthened. 



119 



GHANA 



Ghana is governed by the Provisional National Defense Council 
(PNDC) under the chairmanship of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John 
Rawlings, who seized power from the previous elected Government 
on December 31, 1981. Under the Establishment Proclamation 
issued January 11, 1982, the Council exercises "all powers of 
government." In practice, government policy is developed by 
Chairman Rawlings assisted by a number of close advisers, both 
inside and outside government. In addition to Chairman 
Rawlings, the PNDC consists of eight members, of which two are 
serving military officers and six are civilians (including one 
woman and one ex-military officer). The various government 
ministries are headed by secretaries, most of whom are 
subordinate to a PNDC member responsible for that particular 
area of government. A country-wide network of Committees for 
the Defense of the Revolution (CDR's) is designed as a channel 
to transmit government policies to the citizens and citizen 
concerns to the Government. 

Several security organizations in Ghana report to various 
sections of the Government, but all come under the control of 
the PNDC. Most security cases of a political nature are 
handled by the Bureau of National Investigation, which reports 
to both the Ministry of the Interior and the PNDC member 
responsible for security issues. 

Starting in 1983, the Government adopted an Economic Recovery 
Program in an effort to redress a guarter century of economic 
mismanagement and political instability which, combined with a 
severe drought in the early 1980's, caused Ghana to decline 
from one of Africa's most promising economies to near collapse. 
Conducted in concert with the International Monetary Fund 
(IMF), World Bank (IBRD), and consultative groups of bilateral 
donors, the recovery program has had a positive effect. The 
economy has grown for 5 consecutive years (in 1987 by a 
projected 5 percent). Inflation, which had been brought down 
from triple digits to the teens, rose again in 1987 to a 
projected 30 percent. 

Under Chairman Rawlings, a notable development has been the 
continuing restoration of civil order after an initial 
18-month period of revolutionary excess in 1982 and 1983. 
Discipline has generally been improved in the armed forces and 
the police. There were no coup plots reported in 1987. The 
Government, through a National Commission on Democracy 
established in 1984 under the chairmanship of a PNDC member, 
continued in 1987 to "study" means of restoring a democratic 
system. In July 1987, guidelines were set out for district 
level elections. In October 1987, the Government began a 
process of registering voters for these elections. Procedures 
for future elections at the regional and federal levels have 
not been established. The potential for arbitrary deprivation 
of liberty was demonstrated by continuing instances of 
incarceration without formal charges during sometimes lengthy 
investigations. A system of public tribunals, which parallels 
the regular-court system, is designed to expedite the judicial 
process, but is criticized for not enforcing procedural 
safeguards, effectively enough to constitute due process. 



Rn-77Q n _ ftR _ c; 



i20 



GHANA 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reported instances of politically motivated or 
governmentally instigated deaths. 

b. Disappearance 

No disappearances traceable to government action or to 
nongovernmental or opposition forces were reported. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There have been occasional credible allegations of torture and 
beatings. In 1987 a jailhouse official was sentenced to death 
for beating a detainee to death but is appealing his case. 
Prisons in Ghana are antiquated, and conditions are stark. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Ghanaian security forces occasionally take persons into 
custody, with or without a warrant, and hold them incommunicado 
for extended periods of time. When the Ghana Bar Association 
has taken steps to try to free some of these persons, the PNDC 
has either stood aside and permitted their release or has 
retroactively interposed preventive custody orders barring 
their release and citing national security considerations as 
justification . 

In more routine criminal cases, detentions are generally 
performed in accordance with the legal procedures set forth in 
the criminal code. This code requires that an arrested person 
be brought before a court within 48 hours. However, the court 
can refuse to release a detainee on bail and instead "remand" 
him without charges for an indefinite period of time, subject 
to weekly review as a case is investigated. Habeas corpus is 
limited by a 1984 law which prevents any court from inquiring 
into the grounds for the detention of any Ghanaian under PNDC 
Law 2 (which set up the National Investigation Committee and 
gave the Committee the power to investigate virtually any 
allegation referred to it by the PNDC). 

There are no reliable estimates of the number of political 
detainees and prisoners in Ghanaian prisons. No minister of 
the prerevolut ionary Government remains in detention. Some 
officials of the former Government who fled Ghana in 1982 and 
1983 have quietly returned and resumed careers outside of 
politics, apparently convinced that the danger of detention 
has now passed; others have assumed government posts.. The 
Government does not announce detentions or releases, but in 
1987, as in previous years, a number of prisoners remained in 
detention without charge or trial. In its 1987 Report, 
Amnesty International (AI) noted that at the end of 1986 at 
least 50 people, most of whom were believed to be military 
personnel, were being held without charge or trial under the 
Preventive Custody Law of 1982 (PNDC Law 4). In late July 
1987, AI issued a statement expressing concern at the arrest 
and detention of three Ghanaians on July 15 and stating that 
they may be "prisoners of conscience" imprisoned for the 
nonviolent expression of their political beliefs. The names 



121 



GHANA 

of these three individuals were added to an AI list of four 
other Ghanaians detained in May 1987 without charges. 

In 1987 two American citizens were arrested and held without 
charge for many weeks, and in neither case were U.S. Embassy 
officials notified of the arrests in a manner consistent with 
international law and practice. One of the Americans died in 
jail, apparently of natural causes, before the Embassy was 
notified of his arrest. 

Ghana prohibits forced labor, except in the case of convicted 
criminals. Convicts can be found working on private farms and 
construction sites as part of government programs to reform 
and resocialize convicted criminals. There are no reported 
instances of forced exile. However, there are cases of 
Ghanaians abroad who hesitate to return for fear of political 
persecution. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

In the existing regular "prerevolutionary" court system, 
traditional legal safeguards are based on British legal 
practice, e.g., the right of defendants to present evidence 
and to cross-examine witnesses. This system includes high 
courts, appeal courts, and a Supreme Court headed by a Chief 
Justice. Questions exist, however, about the independence of 
the regular courts. In April 1986, the PNDC overturned one of 
its own decrees, which provided for full hearings before a 
judge could be removed from office, and summarily dismissed 16 
judges, including 2 judges of the Court of Appeal (Ghana's 
second highest court). The PNDC alleged that these judges 
were guilty of various forms of malfeasance in office, but no 
formal charges were brought against them, and no hearings were 
ever held. Many legal observers believe that, by this action, 
the PNDC has put judges in the regular courts on notice that 
they serve at its sufferance. The Ghana Bar Association has 
urged the reestablishment of a judicial council to protect 
judges from arbitrary dismissal and preserve judicial 
independence . 

A separate public tribunals system was set up in 1982 to 
parallel the regular court system. It includes the office of 
Revenue Commissioners, the National Investigations Committee, 
the Special Military Tribunal, and the Public Tribunals Board, 
as well as the public tribunals themselves, which operate at 
the national and regional levels and are planned for district 
and community levels. Critics have complained that there are 
no Ghanaian laws specifying which cases should go before these 
tribunals and which before the regular court system. The 
Government's announced purpose when it established this system 
was to provide more justice to more people in a more timely 
fashion by deemphasizin'g legal "technicalities." No appeals 
were permitted until 1985, when a National Appeals Tribunal 
was created. Critics contend that this system depends largely 
on judges /^ith little or no legal experience and that it 
shortcuts legal safeguards in an effort to speed proceedings. 
The panels of presiding judges contain more laymen than 
lawyers, there are no published guidelines concerning the 
admissibility of evidence, and conviction is by majority vote 
of the panel trying a case. Critics also contend that 
meaningful appeals are impossible because no adequate record 
is kept of initial hearings before tribunals. Judges on the 
appeals panel are drawn from the same pool of "lay judges" who 
hear the initial cases. The public tribunals enforce the PNDC 



122 



GHANA 

policy o£ imposing the death penalty for offenses that are 
essentially economic in nature. 

The members of the Ghana Bar Association, citing such 
shortcomings, have elected not to practice before the 
tribunals. This means that in practice defendants may appear 
before the public tribunals with inadequate or no legal 
representation. In 1985 the Government approved the creation 
of a legal aid program, but this program is yet to be more 
than marginally implemented. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The individual citizen is, for the most part, free from 
interference by the State in his or her private conduct, 
although some critics fear that the Committees for the Defense 
of the Revolution (CDR's) have the potential to become 
"neighborhood watch committees." The Government holds that 
all citizens are "members" of the CDR's, although at present 
actual participation in the system is voluntary. Monitoring 
of telephones and mail is presumed to occur, but is rarely 
reported. Forced entry into homes has been reported in 
connection with security investigations. Informers exist and 
some Ghanaians hesitate to speak frankly at public gatherings. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The freedoms of speech and the press guaranteed under the now 
suspended 1979 Constitution have been abrogated, but the PNDC 
Chairman has publicly encouraged people to speak out on local 
community concerns, though not on government policy. The 
Government owns the radio and television stations and the two 
principal daily newspapers. Reporting on external events 
draws heavily from various wire services and tends to reinforce 
the Government's foreign policies; the press avoids criticism 
of Ghana's foreign policies. The press also avoids criticism 
of the revolution or of Chairman Rawlings and PNDC members. In 
general, it accentuates positive aspects of the revolution, 
but does on occasion report instances of corruption and 
mismanagement. Critics have charged that fear of government 
retaliation has led to a "culture of silence." Private 
organizations s^ch as the Ghana Bar Association voice 
occasional dissent from official policies but are typically 
denied access to the media and have difficulty reaching the 
public with their views. 

Several privately owned newspapers have tried to be relatively 
bold in reporting selected issues. The Pioneer, one of three 
remaining independent papers, has at times criticized the 
Economic Recovery Program. However, many privately owned 
newspapers, for various reasons, have since closed down. In 
1986 the Government limited supplies of newsprint to the 
independent press, thereby reportedly forcing one newspaper 
into bankruptcy. In December 1985, the Government banned 
publication of the Catholic Standard; it remains banned. 

Foreign periodicals such as West Africa are sold freely 
throughout Ghana; there appears to be no attempt to exercise 
censorship. Western journalists are now routinely accorded 
visas and press credentials as opposed to the practice of a 
few years ago. 



123 



GHANA 

Academic freedom tends to be respected within the confines of 
the campus. In the spring, university students demonstrated 
over campus issues which assumed political overtones. 
Eventually all three universities were closed in midsemester, 
but they reopened several months later when courses were 
completed and examinations held. Students dismissed at the 
time of the spring demonstrations by the Government were 
allowed to return to campus. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Individuals generally are free to join together formally or 
informally to promote benevolent or nonviolent causes, but 
restrictions remain on association for the purpose of 
protesting government policies. Political meetings are 
banned, and political parties are not permitted. Permits are 
required for public meetings but are routinely granted except 
when the meeting has an overtly political purpose. 

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is led by officials freely 
elected in 1983. The next TUC convention, at which new 
officials are to be elected, was scheduled for December 1987 
but postponed until early 1988 for organizational reasons. 
The TUC is associated with the International Labor Organization 
(ILO) and with the Organization of African Trade Union Unity 
(whose headquarters are located in Accra) . The right to 
strike is recognized in law and in practice, although the 
Government has taken strong actions to end strikes, especially 
those which threaten interests it perceives to be vital. 
Wildcat and unauthorized strikes numbered 19 in 1986 and 17 in 
1987. 

Trade unions engage in collective bargaining with both private 
sector and state-owned enterprises, though in the latter 
category there are indications that the Government has, on 
occasion, used brief detentions and threats against union 
leaders to force agreement on issues. At the end of 1987, no 
union officials were under detention for union-related 
activities. During a period of tension in the spring involving 
students and union members, the government-controlled press 
sharply criticized some unions and union leaders, and there 
were allegations of other government pressure against the 
unions behind the scenes. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

There is no state-favored religion and no restriction on the 
exercise of religion or on contacts with others of the same 
faith. Most Ghanaians, including senior government officials, 
are practicing members of religious groups, and there are no 
particular advantages or disadvantages to membership in any of 
them. The PNDC has been sensitive to church criticism of 
Ghana's human rights record, and in 1987 Chairman Rawlings 
renewed the charge that worldwide church and Christian 
organizations may be havens for foreign spy networks. The 
Chairman has also criticized importation of commodities in the 
name of the church to avoid import duties. The PNDC has 
banned religious publications for alleged political content. 
Foreign missionary groups operate throughout the country, 
although religious groups which advocate refusal to recognize 
Ghanaian symbols of authority have been strongly criticized by 
the Government. In September seven teachers who were 
Jehovah's Witnesses were dismissed from their jobs for 
refusing to recite the national pledge of allegiance or sing 
the national anthem. 



124 



GHANA 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

People are free to move from one part of the country to another 
without special permission. Police roadblocks continue to 
exist countrywide, allegedly for the prevention of smuggling, 
but are less obtrusive than in the 1982-84 period. Roadblocks 
and car searches are still a normal part of nighttime travel 
in Accra but are no longer conducted during the day. 

As members of the Economic Community of West African States 
(ECOWAS), Ghanaians are eligible to travel without visas for 
up to 90 days anywhere in West Africa. Ghanaians are generally 
free to exercise this right, and nationals of other member 
states are free to travel to Ghana. The Ghana-Togo border, 
closed following allegations by Togo of Ghanaian involvement 
in a 1986 coup attempt against the Government of Togo, was 
reopened in the summer. The major restraints on travel by 
Ghanaians are lack of foreign exchange and long delays in the 
issuance of passports. Ghanaians are free to emigrate or to 
be repatriated from other countries. If a person is considered 
a security threat, special permission to travel outside Ghana 
must be obtained. 

There is no forced resettlement of populations. While 
unregistered refugees from the Sahelian drought in neighboring 
countries remain, efforts to settle these basically nomadic 
people have had only limited success. Only some 150 refugees 
are registered with the United Nations Human Rights Commission, 
and they do not constitute a significant problem for the 
Government . 

Section 3 Respect For Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Under PNDC Law 42, Chairman Rawlings and the PNDC exercise 
total executive, legislative, judicial, and administrative 
power in Ghana. There is no current procedure by which 
citizens can freely and peacefully change their laws, 
officials, or form of government. The National Commission on 
Democracy was established in 1984 to design new democratic 
structures which would eventually replace Ghana's existing 
provisional system. On July 1, 1987 a "blue book" was 
published on the "creation of district political authorities 
and modalities for district-level elections." Voter regis- 
tration was conducted in October and November 1987 for the 
election of district assemblies in the last quarter of 1988. 
However, the duties and areas of authority of these district 
assemblies remain vague. No plans have been announced for 
regional or national elections. Efforts to give substance to 
the revolutionary slogan, "power to the people," have included 
elections for leadership positions at the local level of the 
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government cooperates with the International Committee of 
the Red Cross, and there is a chapter of AI in Ghana. There 
are seyeral other groups in Ghana concerned with human rights, 
and they tend to be objective but not especially vocal or 
effective in their reporting. Nevertheless, various 
independent groups and organizations have worked for and have 
sometimes succeeded in gaining the release of persons from 



125 



GHANA 

custody. As far ^s is known, no representatives of 
international human rights organizations visited Ghana in 
1987. Ghana has neither signed nor ratified the African 
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Discrimination based on race, language, religion, or social 
status is not an issue in Ghana. Women's rights in business 
and the civil service have long been well established and 
respected. One woman serves as a member of the ruling PNDC, 
another serves in the Cabinet, and at least six hold subcabinet 
positions. Women in Ghana have traditionally had a major 
societal role. Women in urban centers and those who have 
entered modern society encounter little apparent bias, but 
role pressures do exist. Women in the rural agricultural 
sector remain subject to constraints associated with 
traditional mores of male dominance, in spite of efforts by 
the Government to curtail such practices. 

In 1985 the Government promulgated four laws which overturned 
many of the discriminatory customary, traditional, and colonial 
laws; these concerned family accountability, intestate 
succession, customary divorce registrations, and the 
administration of estates. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Working conditions in Ghana are governed by labor legislation 
which specifically prohibits forced labor, sets a minimum 
employment age of 15, and prohibits night work and certain 
types of hazardous employment for those under 18 years of 
age. In fact, child labor is prevalent, for example, on local 
buses where children of the drivers often serve as money 
collectors. The minimum wage, which applies to Government 
employees but is only indicative for the private sector, was 
raised 25 percent on January 1, 1987. Through both government 
directives and union contracts, the normal hours of work are 
defined in terms of a 40-hour week. Labor legislation 
provides for labor inspectors and gives them the power to 
order the alteration or closing of any work site "to avert any 
threat to the health or safety of the workers." Inspections 
take place and are as effective as possible under 
circumstances of a troubled national economy and scanty 
resources. Terms of employment and protection against 
arbitrary discharge are also covered by existing legislation. 



126 



GUINEA 



In 1987 the Guinean Military Committee for National Recovery 
(CMRN) continued its hold on political power as General 
Lansana Conte entered his fourth year as Head of State. The 
CMRN assumed power in 1984 after the death of Sekou Toure, 
inheriting a 27-year legacy of mismanagement and leftwing 
authoritarianism. With the Constitution suspended since 1984, 
the military Government rules through ordinances, decrees, and 
decisions issued by the President and various ministers. The 
Guinean penal code, which took effect in 1965, regulates 
treatment of prisoners, delegates authority to permit public 
assemblies, and provides some guarantees of personal liberties. 
The code was generally disregarded during the Toure regime. 
The CMRN, however, has increased enforcement of the code, and 
it remains the only major legislative guarantee of certain 
rights . 

The armed forces number about 9,000 persons, with the army 
alone consisting of some 8,000 officers and soldiers. The 
national police (gendarmerie) helps provide internal security, 
as does a well-armed presidential guard. 

Eighty percent of Guinea's population of 5.8 million is 
dependent on subsistence agriculture, with per capita annual 
income estimated at barely $300. The country relies largely 
on mineral resources, mainly bauxite, for export income which 
has been declining due to falling world prices for bauxite. 
Under the CMRN, Guinea has been attempting to create an 
economic environment conducive to free market activities, and 
its comprehensive economic reform program has diversified the 
small salaried work force and made it less dependent on public 
service jobs. 

Guinea's human rights record was tarnished in May 1987 when, 
after secret trials, the CMRN confirmed that 58 persons, 
including 9 former cabinet ministers and 30 military officers, 
had been sentenced to death. Another 143 persons were 
sentenced to imprisonment. Some of the victims had been 
supporters of Guinea's former dictator, Sekou Toure. Others 
were opponents of the CMRN regime who had attempted a coup in 
July 1985. A December 31 presidential amnesty released 67 
persons, including the widow and son of Sekou Toure. 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

On May 5, 1987, the ruling CMRN issued a communigue announcing 
death sentences for 58 opponents of the current regime and 
supporters of the former Government. Twenty-one of the 58 
were sentenced in absentia. International press reports 
claimed the remaining 37 had been summarily executed before 
the sentencing was even announced, probably immediately after 
the 1985 coup atttempt. 

b. Disappearance 

No politically motivated abductions or disappearances were 
reported during 1987. 



127 



GUINEA 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The CMRN has denounced the human rights atrocities of the 
former Toure dictatorship and has begun to enforce provisions 
of the 1965 penal code which forbid torture and abuse of 
authority. Some mistreatment of prisoners continues, and 
prison conditions remain squalid and unsanitary. The 
Government is attempting to implement judicial and prison 
reforms which will improve conditions. A program to train 
wardens and other prison personnel is being developed with the 
help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The Government does not have total control of the police, and 
weak discipline in the lower ranks of the police, gendarmerie, 
and military forces has led to isolated abuses. For example, 
low level officials reportedly continue to make unauthorized 
arrests in an attempt to supplement low salaries through 
extortion. Presidential admonitions and frequent campaigns 
against this practice in the government-owned media have not 
succeeded in eliminating this practice. By law, an accused 
criminal can be held incommunicado for 72 hours and only has 
the right to counsel after first appearing before a judge. 
There are sometimes delays in acknowledging arrests of common 
criminals. Political prisoners, such as those held after the 
1985 coup attempt, have been detained for extended periods of 
time . 

Compulsory labor is prohibited and not practiced in Guinea. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The number of political prisoners and detainees still in 
prison is not known. The CMRN communique of May 5, 1987, also 
announced that 143 opponents of the regime were sentenced to 
prison terms of 28 months to 8 years. Most of these prisoners 
had been held since 1985. A presidential amnesty on December 
31 released, according to the Government, 67 of these persons, 
including the widow and son of former dictator Sekou Toure. 
Much of the information concerning procedures of arrest, 
interrogation, detention, sentencing, and release of 
prisoners, under the jurisdiction of the Court of State 
Security and the Military Court, was not available. 

The Court of State Security was established in 1985 under the 
CMRN to try cases involving national security, including, but 
not limited to, treason. Civilian officials of the former 
regime and civilians implicated in the July 1985 coup attempt 
were tried by the Court of State Security in secret 
proceedings. All accused were charged with committing common 
crimes and were represented by lawyers. Sentences for some of 
the accused were announced only in May 1987. Likewise, the 
Military Court, also created in 1985 with jurisdiction over 
offenses committed by Guinean military personnel, held secret 
proceedings to judge those military personnel involved in the 
July 1985 coup attempt. Details regarding those proceedings, 
including verdicts and sentences, remain undisclosed. 

Guinea's judicial and institutional reform continued in 1987, 
including new licensing procedures for attorneys, notaries, 
bailiffs and marshals. The Guinean penal code contains 
provisions for presumption of innocence of accused persons, 
independence of judges, equality of citizens before the law. 



128 ^ 



GUINEA 

the right of accused to counsel and to appeal a judicial 
decision, and provisions for amnesty. The judiciary has 
courts of first instance, or justices of the peace, at the 
local level and two courts of appeal (one in Kankan, one in 
Conakry). The Court of Annulment is the Guinean court of last 
appeal . 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The Government has stressed traditional family values and the 
inviolability of the home. In general, the CMRN is less 
willing than the previous regime to abuse police powers. In 
1987 the CMRN increased police authority to fight rising 
crime, but arbitrary interference in citizens' lives 
continues, including through police harassment. Though not 
officially sanctioned, mail and telephone calls are subject to 
monitoring in practice. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and the Press. 

All media are owned and operated by the Government, and 
freedom of the press does not exist. The Guinean penal code 
contains numerous restrictions on speech and press freedoms; 
authors must indicate name, profession, and place of residence 
on every article published. Publications which incite crime 
or are contrary to good morals are prohibited, as are insult, 
defamation, and libel. The Ministry of Information and 
Culture continues to act both as administrator and censor and 
has permitted some movement in the direction of press 
freedom. There was increased investigative reporting and more 
noncontroversial editorials in the government-controlled media 
during 1987. Many foreign publications circulate freely in 
Guinea, including some critical of the Government, and no 
attempt is made to interfere with foreign radio broadcasts. 
Foreign press reports have raised public consciousness of 
human rights issues in Guinea. A cabinet-level film 
censorship board was established by decree in July 1987. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Public gatherings can take place only with the approval of the 
Government. The CMRN has encouraged the formation of 
nongovernmental organizations, and a number were chartered by 
the Guinean Secretary of State for Decentralization in 1987. 
However, governmental respect for peaceful assembly has not 
been uniform. For example, meetings of the Rotary Club of 
Conakry were briefly suspended in late 1986 after a government 
official felt he had been insulted by the club. The Guinean 
penal code bans any meeting which has an ethnic or racial 
character or any gathering "whose nature threatens national 
unity. " 

Most salaried Guineans--many of whom are civil servants--are 
affiliated with the Guinean National Labor Confederation 
(CNTG), a relatively new organization with close ties to the 
Government. Nongovernment workers can strike only with the 
permission of the CNTG board, a reguirement which reduces the 
likelihood of strikes. The Government has dealt severely with 
wildcat strikers in the past. In April striking bus drivers 
returned to work after strike leaders were summarily 
dismissed. The strike was not sanctioned by the CNTG. 
Collective bargaining has taken place in Guinea, most notably 



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GUINEA 

in 1986 when the CNTG concluded an agreement with the mining 
companies. The CNTG maintains relations with recognized 
regional and international bodies, including the International 
Labor Organization (ILO). 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Guineans enjoy religious freedom and tolerance of all faiths. 
Missionaries can proselytize in Guinea. Although an estimated 
85 percent of the population is at least nominally Muslim, 
there is no official state religion. The Government observes 
both major Christian and Muslim holidays. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Guineans are free to move about the country and to change 
place of residence and work, although in practice they face 
harassment by police and military at unauthorized roadblocks, 
particularly at night. It is common for individual citizens 
to pay bribes to avoid police harassment. The Government 
acknowledges that drug-related crime and juvenile delinquence 
have been increasing, and police patrols and authorized 
checkpoints have multiplied. Foreign travel for Guinean 
citizens is complex, involving considerable red tape to obtain 
passports and required exit visas. Foreigners are required to 
obtain prior authorization for travel into the interior of 
Guinea. Recently this authorization has been granted almost 
routinely. 

The rapid increase in the number of Western expatriates in 
Guinea since the CMRN seized power caused the Government to 
tighten immigration and residence requirements for foreigners 
in 1987. Foreigners require exit visas to leave Guinea. 
Applications are occasionally delayed. The Government has 
encouraged Guinean expatriates, including former exiles of the 
Sekou Toure regime, to return home. There are still 
significant numbers of Guineans living in neighboring African 
countries and in France. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Guinea has had no long-term experience with democracy since 
independence, and citizens are unable to change their 
government under democratic procedures. The CMRN banned 
political parties when it took power in April 1984, and formal 
political activity does not yet exist in Guinea. 
Decentralization remained a major theme in 1987, and the 
Government strengthened development of local government 
advisory bodies at the village level in rural areas. 
Nonpartisan elections have taken place in most parts of the 
country, at the subpref ecture level, for selection of 
officials responsible for local development projects, and 
social issues. These officials complement the subprefects, 
prefects, and provincial governors appointed by the military 
authorities in Conakry. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Human 
Rights Violations 

After the May 1987 announcement regarding the sentencing of 
201 persons, the CMRN allowed Amnesty International (AI) to 
send a two-member team to Guinea to investigate the legal 



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GUINEA 

proceedings of the Court of State Security and the Military 
Court. The AI team had access to high level government 
officials and to families and friends of the victims. The 
Government permits a local affiliate of AI to operate. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Racial or ethnic discrimination is prohibited by the penal 
code, but discrimination and mutual suspicion still affect 
relations across ethnic lines within and outside the 
Government. The CMRN has made efforts to include 
representatives of all major ethnic groups in the Government, 
but the Soussou group, to which President Conte belongs, 
predominates at the highest, most influential levels. The 
Government repeatedly urges Guineans to think of themselves as 
a nation and not as members of a particular ethnic group. 

Women in Guinea enjoy a special status conferred by law and 
custom. A 1986 decree created a national Office on the 
Condition of Women in the Secretariat of State for Social 
Affairs. Guinean women have held cabinet posts, 
ambassadorships, judicial positions, and other high level 
government posts. Women are prominent in music, dance, 
sports, and business throughout the country. Nevertheless, in 
traditional, rural Guinea, women's rights are more limited by 
custom. Overall, women lag behind in school enrollments and 
in employment opportunities. The Government has affirmed the 
principle of equal pay for equal work, but in practice women 
receive less pay than men in most jobs. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Children are not usually employed in nonfarm jobs outside the 
family. Guinea's labor and social security laws provide for 
modest compensation for work-related accidents and illnesses. 
Guinea's new labor code, drafted with ILO assistance, will set 
higher standards for occupational health and safety, a 
standardized workweek, and a minimum employment age of 17. 
Significantly higher standards apply to modern mining enclaves. 
In practice, application of labor standards and laws outside 
the mining enclaves is highly variable. There is no minimum 
wage. 



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GUINEA-BISSAU 



The Republic of Guinea-Bissau adopted a constitutional form of 
government in May 1984, when the 4-year-old Revolutionary 
Council established after the 1980 coup d'etat was abolished. 
Following the promulgation of the Constitution, one-party 
elections were held for the National Popular Assembly, which 
in turn elected General Joao Bernardo Vieira to a 5-year term 
as President of the Council of State and chose the other 
members of the Council. According to the Constitution, the 
Assembly decides fundamental questions of internal and 
external policy, but it meets infrequently and effective power 
and day-to-day control rests in the hands of the President, 
the Council of State, and the party. The President serves as 
Head of State, Commander-in-Chief, and General Secretary of 
Guinea-Bissau's sole political party, the African Party for 
the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) . Although 
the President is the most powerful member of the Council, 
decisionmaking is collegial rather than autocratic. The party 
selects all candidates for office. 

The armed forces (FARP) are responsible for state security, 
both external and internal, as mandated by the Constitution. 
The FARP leaders are usually members of the PAIGC and often 
hold key positions in the Politburo or Central Committee. 

Guinea-Bissau remains one of the least developed nations, 
dependent upon foreign aid for its survival. The Government's 
postindependence efforts to exercise central control over the 
economy resulted in chronic shortages of most basic 
commodities, high unemployment, and a weak national currency. 
In 1987 the Government, continuing a program of economic 
reform which began in late 1983, imposed a series of severe 
austerity measures to stimulate agricultural production and 
promote a shift from a state-run centralized economy to a free 
market system. While the 1987 reforms resulted in strong 
growth of the private sector, inflation remained high and the 
urban populations witnessed a sharp drop in their standard of 
living and purchasing power. 

Persons accused of political crimes are tried by military 
tribunals. Approximately 40 men remain imprisoned on an 
island in the Bijagos Archipelago. Most of these prisoners 
are serving sentences for complicity in a plot to overthrow 
President Vieira in October 1985. There have been no 
executions since six leaders of the 1985 plot were executed in 
July 1986. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of officially inspired political killing. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no known cases of disappearance. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There were no known instances of torture and other cruel, 
inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment in 1987. The 



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GUINEA-BISSAU 

Constitution prohibits cruel and inhuman punishment. However, 
prison conditions are unsanitary and cramped, and interrogation 
methods are severe. Prisoners' families routinely bring them 
food and medical supplies. 

Amnesty International (AI) received reports in 1986 that some 
of the detainees arrested in connection with the 1985 coup 
plot had been beaten and otherwise ill-treated. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Arrests in Guinea-Bissau are frequently arbitrary, as arrest 
procedures are undefined and the use of arrest warrants is the 
exception rather than the rule. The modern legal system, 
inherited from the Portuguese colonial regime but modified by 
the Constitution, includes important procedural rights, such 
as the right to counsel and the right to a judicial 
determination of the legality of detention. Bail procedures 
are observed erratically. The Government has on occasion 
detained members of movements deemed hostile to the regime, 
such as the Yanque-Yanque religious movement. The Government 
has the legal right to exile prisoners but did not do so in 
1987. 

There is no forced or compulsory labor in Guinea-Bissau. 
Conscientious objectors are not exempt from military service. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Traditional law still prevails in most rural areas, and many 
urban dwellers continue to bring judicial disputes to 
recognized traditional counsellors. The official judicial 
system is based on the Portuguese model. With some exceptions, 
intervals between arrest and trial are often lengthy. All 
defense lawyers are court-appointed, as private legal practice 
is prohibited. The judiciary is a part of the executive 
branch. Trials involving state security usually are not open 
to outside observers and are conducted by military tribunals. 
FARP members are tried by military courts for all offenses. 
The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal for both 
civilian and military cases except those involving national 
security matters, in which instance the Council of State 
reviews all decisions. 

The 1986 trials of former Vice President of the Council of 
State, Colonel Paulo Correia, and 55 others took place before 
the Superior Military Tribunal, the highest military court. 
The 12 persons sentenced to death appealed to the Council of 
State for clemency and, as a result, 6 had their death 
sentences commuted to 15-year prison terms. AI attended one 
session of the trial, and its 1987 report states it informed 
the Government of its concern that the trial had not conformed 
to international standards of fairness. However, it noted 
there had been an invited audience and the defendants had 
legal counsel. 

Of those convicted in the 1986 trials described above, an 
estimated 40 men remain incarcerated at a prison labor camp on 
an island in the Bijagos Archipelago. Although isolated from 
outside observers, the prisoners are reportedly under light 
guard and are responsible for growing much of their own food. 



133 



GUINEA-BISSAU 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The Constitution guarantees the inviolability of domicile, 
person, and correspondence. These guarantees are not always 
respected in cases of serious crimes or state security when, 
for example, the use of search warrants is rare. International 
and domestic mail is subject to surveillance and censorship. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Constitution guarantees freedom of intellectual, artistic, 
and scientific expression, with the significant exception of 
cases in which these rights are exercised in a manner "contrary 
to the promotion of social progress." In fact, the Government 
controls all information media and views the press as a vehicle 
of the party. Self-censorship by journalists is common; 
however, some criticism and questioning of policies is 
permitted, although never of individual officials. In 1987 
one journalist was fired from the national radio station 
following an interview with a minister during which he 
allegedly asked hostile questions. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The Constitution provides for freedom of assembly and 
association, and Government approval is not required for 
peaceful assemblies and demonstrations. However, all existing 
organizations and associations are linked to the Government or 
the party, including the sole labor union, the National Union 
of the Workers of Guinea-Bissau (UNTG) , and antigovernment 
meetings are not tolerated. 

The UNTG is affiliated with the Communist-controlled World 
Federation of Trade Unions and is a member of the Organization 
of African Trade Union Unity. Strikes, while not specifically 
forbidden, do not occur. The manufacturing sector is extremely 
small and many major enterprises are state owned. The 
overwhelming majority of salaried workers are employees of the 
State, and the UNTG is forbidden to organize these public 
workers . 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution and has 
been respected. Christians, Muslims, and animists worship 
freely, and proselytizing is permitted. However, the 
Government is concerned over a new and growing religious 
movement known as the Yanque-Yanque . This movement, founded a 
few years ago by a woman who claims to receive visions and to 
have healing powers, finds its support mainly among young 
people of the Balanta tribe. Yanque-Yanque is a monotheistic 
religion which rejects traditional animist. Christian, and 
Muslim values and is characterized by unusual and sometimes 
violent rituals which include the taking of a locally produced 
narcotic mixture. These rituals have occasionally caused 
physical harm to participants and even to persons outside the 
movement. The Yanque-Yanque reject modern social and economic 
structures including, by implication, the Government. While 
Yanque-Yanque does not presently constitute a political 
movement, the Government has maintained surveillance on 
members and occasionally questioned, detained, and even 
arrested its leaders on narcotics charges. The occasional 



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GUINEA-BISSAU 

taking of drugs, without any legal repercussions, is 
characteristic of the rituals of some other local religions. 

d. Freedom of Movement within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Citizens are allowed to move freely throughout Guinea-Bissau. 
Foreign travel is not restricted, nor is citizenship revoked 
for political reasons. Thousands of persons have emigrated 
for economic reasons. Return of expatriates is encouraged, 
although the 1986 deaths of two opposition members in a 
mysterious car accident during their forced repatriation from 
Senegal convinced some government opponents that they would 
not be welcomed back to Guinea-Bissau. While sympathetic to 
the principal of asylum, Guinea-Bissau does not host 
significant numbers of refugees. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The present' political system makes no provisions for 
democratic change of government. Guinea-Bissau is led by the 
PAIGC party and military (FAR?) elite, headed by President 
Joao Bernardo Vieira. By the terms of the Constitution, all 
political activity must take place within the party/state 
structure. The 1984 electoral slates for the National Popular 
Assembly at the district, regional, and national levels were 
party-prepared lists. The President, members of the Council 
of State, and National Popular Assembly deputies are elected 
to 5-year terms. There are provisions for constitutional 
amendments and national referendums to be initiated by the 
National Popular Assembly. No single ethnic group dominates 
party/government positions, but Papel and Creole (mixed-race) 
groups, predominantly located in and around the capital of 
Bissau, have disproportionate representation in the Government. 
Women have legal equality with men and hold some influential 
jobs in the party and the Government. The current Minister for 
Labor and Social Security and the President of the National 
Popular Assembly are both women. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

Although international human rights groups have visited 
Guinea-Bissau, their visits have always been tightly 
controlled. The Government invited an AI mission to visit in 
1986. AI delegates held discussions in June 1986 with 
President Vieira and many other officials and, as noted, 
attended one session of the trial of Correia and others. 
There are no local human rights groups in Guinea-Bissau. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The population of Guinea-Bissau comprises diverse tribal 
groups, each with its own language, customs, and social 
organization. The Fula, Mandinga, Balanta, Manjaca, and Papel 
are important groups. Creoles enjoy an advantageous position 
within the society due to their generally higher level of 
education and their links abroad. Although the President and 
other influential leaders regularly urge the nation to 
overcome ethnic differences, the perception of economic 
dominance by Creoles (and to a lesser extent Fulas) has 
created resentment among other ethnic communities. Most of 



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GUINEA-BISSAU 

the defendants in the 1986 coup trial were members of the 
Balanta ethnic group. 

Discrimination against women, while officially prohibited, 
continues within certain ethnic groups, especially the Muslim 
Fulas and Mandinkas of the North and East. Among those groups 
female genital mutilation is still practiced, despite official 
prohibition and educational campaigns against this custom. 
Women enjoy higher status in the societies of the Balanta, 
Papel, and Bijagos groups living mainly in the southern 
coastal region. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

In an overwhelmingly rural and agricultural society, 
traditional division of labor practices both between sexes and 
age groups continue to prevail. Children in all rural 
communities work in the fields and at home for no pay. The 
Government does not attempt to discourage this practice and in 
fact delays the opening of schools until the rice season has 
ended. Even in the small modern sector, labor laws are 
ill-defined and unevenly enforced in Guinea-Bissau, due 
primarily to the extreme economic underdevelopment of the 
society. However, there are government regulations covering 
such matters as job-related disabilities and vacation rights, 
and the Government in 1987 approved a new labor code which set 
a minimum age of 14 for general factory labor and of 18 for 
heavy or dangerous labor, including all labor in mines. The 
normal workweek is 35 hours. There is no minimum wage. 



136 



KENYA 



Kenya, which has had an elected, civilian government since its 
independence in 1963, has been a de facto one-party state 
almost from independence, and a de jure one-party state since 
1982. The President, Daniel T. arap Moi, maintains firm 
control over both the Government and the party, the Kenyan 
African National Union (KANU) . The party must approve all 
candidates for political office. In 1986 there was greater 
centralization of power in the KANU leadership. In 1987 the 
Government reaffirmed its commitment to instituting a new 
queuing (nonsecret) system of voting in party preliminary 
nominations. The queuing system, however, has not yet been 
actually implemented. The popularly elected National Assembly 
of 158 members, plus up to 12 members appointed by the 
President, is usually involved in local and regional issues 
and in responding to the executive's initiatives, e.g., in 
approving the controversial constitutional amendment in 
December 1986 which gave the President increased powers over 
the Attorney General and the Auditor General. Within the 
one-party system there has been considerable electoral 
competition for parliamentary seats. Under the Constitution, 
elections for Parliament must be held every 5 years, and 
parliamentary elections, last held in 1983, are expected in 
1988. 

The Kenyan Armed Forces constitute a small, professional 
establishment with a total strength of about 22,000 members. 
Kenya's internal security apparatus includes the Kenyan Special 
Branch and Criminal Investigation Division Police, and is used 
to monitor and control persons whom the State considers 
subversive. Kenya's Preservation of Public Security Act 
provides for detention for an indefinite period without trial 
in national security cases. 

Kenya's market-oriented, modern economy includes a 
well-developed private sector for trade and light 
manufacturing, as well as an agricultural sector that produces 
sufficent food for local consumption and significant exports 
of coffee, tea, and other commodities. In 1987 lower world 
coffee prices contributed, however, to a growing balance of 
payments problem. Economic growth continues, but at a slower 
rate; unemployment continues to be a serious and growing 
problem. 

Kenyans are free to engage in private economic activity, own 
property, belong to trade unions, practice most religions, 
move freely within the country and travel abroad. 
Nevertheless, human rights concerns in Kenya sharply increased 
in 1986-87 amid reports of torture of prisoners, the detention 
of persons without charges, and questions about the fairness 
of trials of alleged subversives. In most of the cases against 
those alleged to have ties with Mwakenya, a clandestine 
dissident organization, prisoners were held incommunicado for 
prolonged periods without legal representation. There have 
been credible reports that in some cases confessions were 
extracted through torture or ill-treatment or the threat of 
such treatment. Some reports indicated that between 200 to 
300 persons were detained temporarily in 1986, mainly on 
suspicion of belonging to Mwakenya. In 1987 the number of 
arrests and convictions for Mwakenya activities declined, and 
there were fewer allegations of mistreatment. The Government 
of Kenya acknowledged that 14 people were held without trial 
under the Public Security Act during 1987, nine of whom had 
been detained in 1986 and two in 1987. Three of these 
detainees were released in December 1987. 



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KENYA 



RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 



SECTION 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no political assassinations in Kenya in 1987. 
There was a death in police custody of a businessman being 
held for investigation for links to Mwakenya . Evidence also 
emerged of a similar death of a carpenter in police custody in 
1986. In both instances, families have asked for 
investigations, alleging that death resulted from abusive 
treatment. Public judicial inquests into these deaths (Peter 
Karanja and Stephen Wanjema) were under way in late 1987, but 
had not reached any conclusions by the end of the year. 
Altogether, 4 persons are known to have died in police custody 
(see below) under ambiguous circumstances. 

b. Disappearance 

Although Kenyan law requires that an arrested person be 
brought before a court or released within "a reasonable period 
of time," Kenyan authorities have held people for prolonged 
periods without formal charges. In some cases, authorities 
have detained persons and have failed to acknowledge the fact 
when inquiries were made. According to Amnesty International 
and local reports, at least 25 people were held in this 
fashion in 1987 before it was confirmed that they were in 
police custody. Some were later released, and others were 
formally charged. Two were later officially detained under 
the Preservation of Public Security Act. In a case currently 
before the courts, the wife of a missing Kiambu farmer learned 
that her husband had been shot by the police only after she 
retained a lawyer and filed for habeas corpus. Police stated 
that they had shot the man, who had been arrested on suspicion 
of robbery, while he was trying to escape. Despite a court 
order that the police produce the body for examination by 
independent experts, 5 months after the case began the police 
had not done so. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Torture is officially proscribed under the Constitution. 
Nevertheless, allegations of torture have been made, and in 
some cases evidence of it has been introduced in the Kenyan 
courts. Torture has been cited in the Kenyan press and has 
been noted by human rights organizations and in the 
international media. Several persons detained on suspicion of 
security-related offenses have stated that they were tortured 
by officers of the Special Branch and Criminal Investigation 
Division police at their headquarters in Nairobi. Reported 
methods of torture included confinement for lengthy periods in 
a basement cell flooded with about 2 inches of water, severe 
beatings, deprivation of food and sleep, and various forms of 
intimidation. 

In February 1987, a Nairobi lawyer, Gibson Kamau Kuria, 
submitted notices to sue the Government for illegal detention 
and torture on behalf of four incarcerated persons, one of 
whom had died in custody. The lawyer was himself detained 
shortly thereafter under the Preservation of Public Security 
Act. Kuria along with two other detainees was released 
December 12. His cases against the Government have not yet 



138 



been heard. Several defendants in Mwakenya trials have 
complained in court that their confessions were the result of 
torture. Presiding magistrates in these cases have not 
inquired into these alleged offenses. In April 1987, President 
Moi announced a clean-up of the police forces. According to 
the Kenyan authorities, 19 policemen have subsequently been 
investigated or charged. At the end of 1987, however, the 
Government had publicly investigated or prosecuted few if any 
of the alleged abuses. 

In nonpolitical cases, abuse of prisoners has also occurred. 
Several allegations of such mistreatment were reported in the 
Kenyan and international press in 1987. Two people, a Ugandan 
teacher from Kisii in western Kenya and a farmer from Kiambu 
(mentioned above), died in police custody, apparently at police 
hands. The police in the first of these cases were acquitted. 
The second case is still being pursued in court by the victim's 
family. In a Bungoma case, a magistrate ordered a defendant 
to be taken to the hospital after seeing injuries allegedly 
inflicted by the police. In two other recent instances, 
defendants have stated in court that they had been mistreated 
by the police. In cases where torture has been alleged, the 
Kenyan courts have ruled that due process required the 
dismissal of illegally obtained confessions. A magistrate in 
a Nairobi case ruled that statements taken from two defendants 
were inadmissible because they had been tortured during 
interrogation. In a well-publicized case in Machakos, 14 
people were acquitted after confessing to murder when a court 
upheld their claims of having been tortured into making 
confessions . 

Prison conditions in Kenya are poor. Detainees and prisoners 
have complained of beatings, poor food, lack of access to 
medical care, and inadequate facilities. Prisoners often are 
required to sleep on cold, cement floors. The Preservation of 
Public Security Act allows detainees to be held in solitary 
confinement, with no outside contact with family or legal 
counsel, although in some cases lawyers and family members 
have been allowed to visit detainees. Correspondence with 
prisoners is monitored and occasionally not delivered. 
Prisoners are allowed one short visit per month by family 
members. Prison or security officials are usually present 
when detainees or prisoners consult with attorneys or family 
members . 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The Constitution provides that any arrested or detained person 
(except those under the Preservation of Public Security Act) 
shall be brought before a court "as soon as is reasonably 
practicable," and that if such person is not brought within 24 
hours of his arrest or from the commencement of his detention, 
the burden of explanation is on the authorities. In practice, 
however, many arrested persons are held for long periods 
without being charged or taken before the courts. In November, 
six students were held for 13 days without charge after their 
arrests on the University of Nairobi campus. Five of these 
were released on bonds of good conduct. After 15 days of 
detention without charge, the sixth student pleaded guilty to 
a charge of providing information to the Libyan Embassy in 
Nairobi. In one instance in 1987, an American citizen was 
held for questioning for more than 24 hours without charge and 
without access to a lawyer. Another American citizen was 
jailed for 3 months without notification to the U.S. Embassy. 



139 



KENYA 

Although Embassy officers eventually gained access to him, an 
initial effort to see him was prohibited by prison officials. 

Mwakenya is a Marxist-oriented organization which is illegal 
under Kenyan law because it is clandestine and advocates the 
overthrow of the Kenyan Government. Those Mwakenya suspects 
who have been charged have generally been charged with taking 
an illegal oath to the organization or for possession of its 
literature. In its 1987 Report, Amnesty International 
indicated that over 200 persons had been arrested in 1986, 
mainly for suspected ties to Mwakenya. The number of persons 
apprehended in 1987 for possible Mwakenya connections appears 
to have decreased. In Mwakenya cases, suspects have been 
arrested secretly and held incommunicado for several weeks 
before being charged and taken before a magistrate or being 
officially detained under the Preservation of Public Security 
Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial or 
charge. In these cases detainees have been permitted neither 
legal counsel nor access to family during the period of 
incarceration prior to trial. During this period of 
incommunicado detention, many Mwakenya suspects have made 
confessions on which they have subsequently been convicted. 
There have been credible reports that some of these confessions 
were extracted through torture and ill-treatment. Some 
observers have also suggested that Mwakenya suspects, faced 
with the options of indefinite detention under the 
Preservation of Public Security Act or a definite term in 
prison based on a confession and conviction, chose the 
latter. At the end of 1987, the Government claimed it was 
holding 11 persons under the Preservation of Public Security 
Act. Nine of the 11 were detained in 1986 and 1987. 

Neither exile nor the threat of exile is used by the Government 
as a means of intimidation or punishment. Self-exile is a 
course of action sometimes chosen by Kenyan dissidents. 
Several Kenyans have moved to foreign countries and announced 
that they will not return to Kenya for fear of persecution by 
the Government. One of the self-exiled individuals stated 
publicly that he was willing to assume the leadership of the 
Mwakenya movement. In some cases, the Government states that 
these exiles are wanted for questioning for possible criminal 
charges in Kenya, although in most cases the exiles have not 
been formally charged with crimes. The Government has invited 
some of the exiles to return and publicly announced that they 
would be safe in Kenya. In 1987 none of the people who had 
chosen exile abroad accepted the offer to return. 

Kenya has not ratified the International Labor Organization 
(ILO) convention No. 105 on The Universal Abolition of Forced 
Labor. Forced labor is not practiced in Kenya. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Although Kenyans have a constitutional right to a fair public 
trial, this right has been circumscribed in most cases 
involving alleged Mwakenya membership or involvement. In 1986 
at least 52 people were convicted for involvement with 
Mwakenya, with another 28 such convictions in 1987. In most 
of these cases, defendants were charged with membership in, 
and taking an unlawful oath to, a subversive organization, 
possessing seditious literature, or failing to report the 
existence of such literature. The Mwakenya trials are held in 
a magistrate's court, open to the public, but usually held 
late in the afternoon without prior announcement, so that the 
defendants' family and the press were often unaware of the 



140 



KENYA 

time of the trial. Most of the defendants have been held 
incommunicado without charges for significant periods before 
the trial. None of the defendants has been represented by 
legal counsel or allowed to present witnesses. In most cases, 
the defendants have not spoken during the trial. In all 
Mwakenya trials, the defendants have pleaded guilty. In most 
cases, the guilty plea was the only evidence presented against 
them in very brief magistrate court trials. In Kenya, appeal 
of the verdict is not allowed when a guilty plea is entered. 
However, appeal of sentence is permitted. 

The Kenyan judiciary usually exhibits considerable 
independence, although the Government has reportedly put 
pressure on judges in sensitive cases. High Court justices 
are appointed and dismissed solely at the pleasure of the 
President and are thus susceptible to executive pressure. In 
one 1987 case involving the death of a robbery suspect in 
police custody, a judge was taken off the case by the Chief 
Justice after he had threatened to hold in contempt a high- 
ranking security official. In October 1987, Kenya's Solicitor 
General was put on compulsory leave by the Attorney General 
without public explanation. The Solicitor General was later 
replaced. In cases involving detention under the Preservation 
of Public Security Act, judicial authority is limited to 
ensuring compliance with procedural provisions. In most other 
cases, the right to a fair public trial is usually observed, 
although long delays and postponements are common. 

Civilians are tried in civilian courts, and verdicts may be 
appealed to the Kenyan High Court. Military personnel are 
tried by military courts, and verdicts may be appealed. Judge 
advocates are appointed on a case-by-case basis by the Chief 
Justice. Members of the press regularly attend and report on 
court proceedings, both civilian and military. Kenyans do not 
have a right to representation by legal counsel, except in 
certain capital cases. Most, but not all, persons tried for 
capital crimes are provided counsel free of charge if they 
cannot afford it. The Government's action in detaining 
without trial an attorney who had brought charges of illegal 
detention and torture on behalf of four political detainees 
could have the effect of intimidating vigorous legal 
representation in security cases (see Section I.e.). 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Search warrants are not required under the Constitution in 
certain specified instances "to promote the public benefit," 
which include security cases. Security officials sometimes 
conduct searches without court warrants to apprehend suspected 
criminals or seize property believed to be stolen. The homes 
of suspected dissidents have been entered and searched for 
subversive or incriminating documents. Numerous rooms in 
University of Nairobi residence halls were entered without 
warrants during the November disturbances. Security forces 
reportedly employ a variety of surveillance techniques, 
including electronic surveillance and a network of informers. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Although the Constitution provides for freedom of speech and 
press, the exercise of such rights is to some extent 
restricted. The range of allowable discussion in the 



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Parliament is broad on local affairs, but no criticism of the 
President is tolerated, and national issues such as foreign 
affairs are rarely discussed. In 1986 one Member of 
Parliament, who had twice voted against the constitutional 
amendment increasing the power of the President over the 
Attorney General and the Auditor General, was ordered out of 
the Parliament building by the Speaker for the third vote 
because he refused to apologize for certain comments he had 
made. He and one other Member of Parliament were briefly held 
by the police without charge in January 1987. 

There is no systematic or formal censorship of the press, 
although the press practices self-censorship. The press 
confines commentary within widely understood but legally 
undefined limits. As an example, the press criticizes 
government policies and occasionally reports unflattering news 
about government officials, but never criticizes the President. 
At times the Government intervenes to tell editors how to 
handle sensitive stories. Pressure has been brought on 
journalists and publications considered to have strayed too 
far from the government line. Some journalists have been 
fired by their news organizations, and several imprisoned for 
seditious activities in the past 18 months. The Kenyan press 
has reported a number of the Mwakenya case trials, even though 
these were not announced in advance. In one instance, a 
Mwakenya trial was canceled when the court apparently realized 
that members of the press were present. A Kenyan journalist, 
Paul Amina, known to have covered some Mwakenya cases, was 
detained in August 1987 under the Preservation of Public 
Security regulations and held incommunicado. In November two 
Voice of Kenya employees were detained without charge, but 
both were subsequently released. 

Government criticism of outspoken clergymen and politicians, 
as well as the detention provisions of the Preservation of 
Public Security Act, discourage public exchange of views on 
some political topics. In 1987 the Government increasingly 
criticized foreign journalists for alleged bias and 
prevarication in their human rights reporting on Kenya. On 
November 4, Western journalists covering university 
disturbances were beaten by police at the scene of the 
disturbances and briefly detained, although they had 
identified themselves as members of the foreign press. A 
positive sign has been that the Kenyan press has been willing 
in some cases to deal with such issues as torture and 
allegations of police corruption and brutality. 

Privately owned newspapers and journals are published in 
Kenya. Newspapers, magazines, and books from abroad are 
readily available. Books by Kenyan dissidents in self-exile 
abroad have been reviewed by the local press and are available 
in Kenya. However, in 1986 a Nairobi newspaper published a 
list of 18 publications that are prohibited in Kenya. More 
than 100 foreign journalists representing major Western news 
organizations are based in Kenya. 

Kenya has a 10-12 member film censorship board under the 
supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Social Sciences. 
While the board must approve all films shown in Kenya, a 
variety of uncut foreign films are available. A 10-member 
television censorship board has established guidelines that 
govern what can be shown on television. The single television 
station and all radio stations are owned and controlled by the 
Government . 



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KENYA 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The rights of freedom of assembly and association provided for 
in the Constitution are limited by the Public Order and Police 
Act, which gives local authorities wide powers to control 
public gatherings, defined as three or more persons. It is 
illegal to convene an unlicensed meeting, and politicians have 
been investigated or arrested for violations of this statute. 
Licenses to hold public meetings are rarely denied. When 
denied, the grounds usually are that the proposed meeting might 
disturb civil order. With the exception of civil servants, who 
are required to join KANU, Kenyans are not officially required 
to join any political organization. Some Kenyans have 
complained of intimidation and harassment during local KANU 
membership drives. Party membership has in fact become a test 
of one's loyalty to the Government. The party and the 
Government both emphasize, however, that party membership is 
strictly voluntary. 

Labor unions enjoy the right to organize freely, but the right 
to strike is severely curtailed. The only trade union 
confederation, the Central Organization of Trade Unions 
(COTU) , is affiliated with the Organization of African Trade 
Union Unity and maintains friendly relations (though not 
affiliation) with the International Confederation of Free 
Trade Unions (ICFTU). COTU also sends observers to the 
congress of World Federation of Trade Unions. Individual 
unions in COTU are permitted to belong to international trade 
secretariats . 

Employers are also free to organize and have formed the 
Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) which along with COTU 
sends representatives to the annual ILO meeting in Geneva. 
The Government has formally constituted a tripartite committee 
of government, FKE, and COTU representatives which regularly 
meets to discuss a wide range of labor issues. In 1987 a 
Civil Service Association was formed but without the right to 
bargain collectively or to strike. Kenyan law permits an open 
shop whereby workers are given a choice whether or not to join 
a union and provides for a check-off system for the collection 
of union dues . 

Complex labor legislation renders strikes virtually illegal. 
Strikes are permitted only when the Ministry of Labor has not 
taken action toward resolution within 21 days from the formal 
declaration of a dispute. In August, after almost 1 month of 
an illegal strike by factory workers in Thika, the Government 
intervened to end the strike when other unions joined it. 
Wildcat strikes do occur; city workers stopped work for a day 
in December to protest the Government's failure to pay wages 
overdue since August. Sympathy strikes, however, are illegal. 
Most union disputes are settled by the parties themselves or 
by appealing to the Industrial Relations Court, a dispute- 
resolution body with a well-earned reputation for fairness and 
impartiality. The Industrial Relations Court is also 
responsible for approving all collective bargaining agreements. 
The Court has become the model for several other industrial 
courts in Africa. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Freedom of worship is protected in the Constitution and for 
the most part allowed in practice. Foreign missionaries of 
many denominations are permitted to work in Kenya. In November 
seven Americans were deported after the publication of a 



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KENYA 

memorandum indicating that they, in collusion with the Ku Klux 
Klan, were plotting the overthrow of the Kenyan Government. 
The missionaries and the U.S. Embassy stated that the 
memorandum was a forgery. The missionaries were deported on 
short notice and were not permitted the opportunity to refute 
the allegation. Nevertheless, it does not appear that 
religious intolerance played any role in their deportation. 

New churches must receive the approval of the Kenyan 
Government to be registered in Kenya. The Church of Jesus 
Christ of Latter-Day Saints has tried without success for 6 
years to obtain registration. The Government has not, however, 
interfered with Mormon meetings during this period. In 
November the Government announced without explanation that five 
churches, including the Association of Jehovah's Witnesses in 
East Africa, had been deregistered . Several of the churches 
have appealed the action, and the Jehovah's Witnesses in late 
November received a stay order from the High Court. 

There is no religious requirement for voting or holding 
office. Clergymen in Kenya have spoken out on political as 
well as religious issues from their pulpits. In 1987 
government leaders criticized some members of the clergy for 
making political statements, e.g., criticism of the queuing 
system. One prominent clergyman was transferred by hir church 
from Nairobi to a rural area in a controversy over political 
sermons. He resigned rather than accept the transfer. In 
September 1987, the new Chairman of the National Council of 
Churches of Kenya reaffirmed the duty of the clergy to speak 
out about social and political ills. President Moi confirmed 
that churches have a duty to speak out on social ills. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

In general, Kenyans can travel freely both within Kenya and 
abroad. Travel within Kenya is restricted only by provisions 
of the Preservation of Public Security Act, which limits 
movement of persons considered dangerous to the public 
security. These provisions are rarely invoked. Although 
Kenya does not prohibit emigration of its citizens, the Kenyan 
Government impounded the passports of the wife and children of 
a Kenyan dissident in exile in 1987. In contrast to 1986, 
when a Kenyan journalist was stripped of his citizenship, 
there were no instances of citizenship being revoked for 
political reasons in 1987. 

Kenya continues to accept refugees, despite its own high 
population growth rate and severe unemployment. The United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that in 1987 
Kenya provided refuge to approximately 12,000 refugees, and 
there are perhaps another 5,000 displaced persons not 
officially registered as refugees. In particular, continued 
unrest in Uganda has prompted several thousand Ugandans to 
enter Kenya. Refugees and displaced persons have not been 
forced to return to their country of origin. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

President Moi and a small group of advisers control all major 
policy decisions in the Government and the party. The Kenyan 
Constitution prohibits formation of any political party other 
than KANU; citizens cannot, therefore, replace the party in 
power through the electoral process. Since 1964 (when Kenya 



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KENYA 

converted to a Presidential system), the party's candidate for 
President has been unopposed. A number of candidates usually 
have competed for party and national assembly elections. 
Local party branches must clear all candidates for political 
office. In the past, there have been few instances when local 
party clearances have been denied. For the 1988 party 
nomination process, the party leadership has adopted a queuing 
system of voting whereby party members are to queue physically 
for the candidates of their choice on election day, thus 
eliminating the secrecy of the ballot for the nomination. 
Under the new party rules, no more than 3 KANU-selected 
candidates will be permitted to run in each constituency in 
the general election. Any person who receives 70 percent of 
the vote in the party election will automatically run unopposed 
in the general election, which is by secret ballot. Party 
leaders have stated that the new procedures will ensure that 
candidates in the general election represent more than narrow 
ethnic coalitions. Concern has been expressed that the queuing 
method is a means for the party leadership to tighten control 
over party and general elections and that the 70 percent rule 
would disenfranchise voters who do not join KANU. Parliament 
has not debated the queuing system, and the President has 
warned Parliament against discussion of it. 

In Kenya's postindependence history, neither the President nor 
the Vice President has faced an opposing candidate. Members 
of all ethnic groups are permitted to run for office. 
President Moi has broadened ethnic representation at the 
Minister and Assistant Minister level. Persons from 12 
different ethnic groups hold Cabinet portfolios. Seventeen 
ethnic groups, including one Caucasian, are represented at the 
Assistant Minister level. Three women hold seats in the 
National Assembly, and more than 20 women were elected to 
municipal offices in the 1983 elections. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government is sensitive to criticism regarding alleged 
human rights violations and discourages Kenyans from providing 
outside human rights groups with information. President Moi 
has publicly attacked Amnesty International and other groups 
for meddling in Kenya's internal affairs. Except in public 
statements which attacked Amnesty International's veracity and 
motives, the Government has not replied to the extensive 
Amnesty International survey of human rights in Kenya, 
published in July 1987, which appealed to the Government to 
abandon the use of detention without charge, to institute 
safeguards against torture, and to ensure full due process for 
all those tried. 

There are several Kenyan organizations which address issues 
related to human rights, such as the Law Society of Kenya, but 
none which focuses exclusively on human rights concerns. 
Kenya has not ratified the Organization of African Unity's 
Human and Peoples' Rights Charter adopted at that 
Organization's 1981 summit in Nairobi. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Kenya is a diverse country that does not practice legal 
discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, language, 
or social status. Women remain under represented in educational 



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KENYA 

institutions, government, and business, despite recent gains 
and the emergence of influential women in government and the 
professions. Government policy is less of a factor affecting 
women, however, than the traditional culture that has long 
prescribed limited roles for them. Women are a crucial factor 
in Kenyan labor and provide approximately three-quarters of 
agricultural labor. Women are likely to retain this role for 
the near future, as there is a continuing migration of men to 
cities in search of higher paying jobs. In the modern sector, 
women frequently earn less than men for comparable work. The 
public law institute has sponsored a campaign to halt violence 
against women, as well as a women's rights awareness program 
which put up signs on buses announcing "violence against women 
is against the law." There are also women's groups in Kenya 
which attempt to educate and help women attain their rights. 
Some Kenyan ethnic groups still practice female circumcision, 
although the Government has mounted a campaign against the 
practice and prohibits such operations in government hospitals. 

Kenya's Asian community, numbering about 65,000, accounts for 
a large share of the nation's economic output. The 
Government's policy of Africanization of the economy has 
resulted in some Asian emigration, and non-Africans are 
concerned about the long-term implications of the policy. 
Kenya amended its Citizenship Law in 1984, depriving some 
Asians and Europeans of citizenship. Under the present law, 
people born in Kenya of non-Kenyan parents can no longer claim 
Kenyan citizenship. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Kenya's population of approximately 21 million is projected to 
double by the early part of the 21st century. Urbanization 
continues to accelerate rapidly, although approximately 80 
percent of Kenyans continue to live in rural areas--many as 
subsistence farmers. The legal minimum age for employment is 
16, but the law is difficult to enforce, and many children 
work at an earlier age as unskilled laborers or domestic 
employees both in rural areas (especially in agriculture) and 
in urban areas. Kenya has adequate legislation to provide 
acceptable and safe working conditions. The Government, 
however, is often unable to enforce compliance. The maximum 
legally allowed workweek is 52 hours. All workers are 
entitled to at least 1 rest day per week, paid sick leave, 
paid annual leave, and holidays. The Government has enacted 
minimum wage legislation based on occupation, age, and 
location. Under current law, the minimum wage ranges from 
about $16 per month for an unskilled laborer under age 18 in a 
rural area to about $88 per month for a cashier in Nairobi or 
Mombasa. A social security system paying retirement benefits 
exists in nascent form. 



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LESOTHO 



On January 20, 1986 the regime of Prime Minister Leabua 
Jonathan, which had ruled Lesotho since 1966, was ousted by 
the Lesotho Paramilitary Force (LPF) . The coup leaders 
established a Military Council, abolished the post of prime 
minister, and formally conferred all legislative and executive 
power on Moshoeshoe II, the previously powerless King of 
Lesotho. Since the 1986 coup, the Military Council, led by 
Major General J. M. Lekhanya, and the King have ruled by 
decree; however, an appointed Council of Ministers, which 
includes civilians, administers the day-to-day operations of 
government. During 1987 the new regime continued its ban on 
"political activity," giving no indication when Lesotho might 
revert to constitutional rule. 

Since its rise to power, the military Government has promoted 
a policy of national reconciliation. In 1987 it again called 
for the return of Basotho nationals who had exiled themselves 
for political or economic reasons. Ntsu Mokhehle, the aging 
exiled leader of the Basotho Congress Party, and the outlawed 
Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA) continued to reject the 
Government's general amnesty. The Government has placed 
special emphasis on pragmatic, cooperative relations with 
South Africa, attempting to balance geographic and economic 
realities with commitments to African regional cooperation. 

A landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa, 
Lesotho is almost entirely dependent on its neighbor for 
trade, finance, employment, and access to the outside world. 
About half of the male labor force is employed in South 
Africa's mines, and remittances from workers (more than $300 
million annually) are a critical factor in the economy, 
especially in financing imports. 

Human rights continue to be circumscribed under the military 
Government, but its goal of national reconciliation receives 
strong popular support. In this reconciliation effort, the 
Government did not bring legal actions against former members 
of the Jonathan Government and has welcomed back some 500 
exiles, mainly from South Africa and Botswana. (Jonathan died 
in 1987 of cancer in a South African hospital.) However, the 
Government reportedly discharged in 1987 a number of 
"politically incompatible individuals," both in the military 
and civil services, for suspected loyalty to the previous 
Government. While the climate of personal security improved 
in 1987, the 1986 deaths of two senior military officers who 
had opposed the coup, and two former ministers and their 
wives, have never been satisfactorily explained or 
investigated. Also, in 1987 there were several unexplained 
but clearly politically motivated "warning" attacks (no 
casualties) against suspected members of the African National 
Congress and the Pan African Congress still residing in 
Lesotho . 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

The brutal 1986 murders of former Ministers of Information and 
Foreign Affairs, Desmond Sixishe and Vincent Makhele and their 
wives, still have not been resolved. A government 
investigation has failed to identify the perpetrators of the 



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LESOTHO 

crime, and there has been a lack, of official disclosure about 
it. Similarly, there have been no further revelations 
concerning the deaths in March 1986 of two senior Royal 
Lesotho Defense Force officers who had opposed the coup and 
who subsequently died while in official custody on charges 
related to events during the 1986 coup. 

Amnesty International, in its 1987 Report, indicated that the 
two former ministers and their wives had been victims of 
politically motivated killings, alleged to have been carried 
out by government agents, and that the deaths of the two 
senior military officers had been caused by ill-treatment. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no known instances of disappearance of Basotho 
nationals. Although there were several confirmed 
disappearances of South African refugees in 1986, none were 
reported during 1987. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The advent of the new military Government resulted in stricter 
discipline over police forces, and accordingly there has been 
a decrease in the number of allegations of improper police and 
military conduct. However, isolated beatings and harsh 
interrogations of criminal suspects are still reported to 
occur . 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

In August 1986, the military Government restricted the 
movements of several former ministers, including former Prime 
Minister Jonathan, to their home areas, allegedly for plotting 
to overthrow the new Government. This "home area" detention 
was lifted in 1987. Jonathan was somewhat belatedly allowed 
to leave Lesotho for medical treatment in April 1987; he died 
of natural causes while undergoing treatment in South Africa 
shortly thereafter. 

Established procedures remain in effect under the new 
Government for normal civil and criminal cases, including the 
right of a detainee to an early determination of the legality 
of his detention. The 1981 Criminal Procedures and Evidence 
Act, as amended in 1984, prohibits bail in cases of armed 
robbery. 

In political cases, the Internal Security (General) Act of 
1984 applies. This Act provides for preventive detention 
without charge or trial for up to 42 days (the first 14 days 
on order of the police; the second 14 days on order of the 
police commissioner; and the final 14 days only on order of a 
government minister). Detainees may be held incommunicado for 
up to 14 days. During the second stage of the detention, 
ministerially appointed "advisors" (all government employees 
to date) report on the health of the detainee, investigate 
whether the detainee has been involved in subversive 
activities, and advise the Minister of Justice and Prisons on 
the need for continued detention. Detainees under the Act may 
make representations on their own treatment only through the 
advisors. The 1984 Internal Security Act also allows for 
detention of witnesses in security cases. 



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LESOTHO 

Observers report that there were only two cases of preventive 
detention under the Act during 1987. Both detainees sought 
redress through established judicial procedures and 
subsequently were released. 

As one of its first major acts, the military Government 
declared a general amnesty for all Basotho in exile, which was 
specifically aimed at Ntsu Mokhehle, exiled leader of the 
Basotho Congress Party (BCP), and his followers. The 
Government continues to maintain that they are free to return 
without fear of retaliation for past activities, and in fact 
has privately urged Mokhehle to do so. However, Mokhehle 
rejected the Government's offer of amnesty, and continued to 
call for free elections. 

In spite of Mokhehle 's attitude, the Government's amnesty 
program for political exiles continued to receive a fair 
response over the past year; returnees since the coup now 
number over 500, mostly from South Africa and Botswana, and 
they have generally been received without harassment or 
political retribution. 

There is no forced labor practiced in Lesotho. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The judiciary in Lesotho remains independent under the 
military Government. The courts have acted to limit 
infringements of law and procedure on numerous occasions in 
past years, as in the case of two 1987 detentions. Court 
decisions and rulings are respected by the authorities. 
Accused persons have the right to counsel. Under the system 
of Roman-Dutch law applied in Lesotho, there is no trial by 
jury. The judiciary consists of a Court of Appeal, the High 
Court, magistrate courts, and customary or traditional courts 
which exist largely in rural areas to administer customary 
tribal laws. Members of the High Court serve in an advisory 
capacity to military tribunals and provide guidance on 
questions of legal procedure and substance. This service is 
available to both prosecutors and the accused. 

The military regime did not prosecute Jonathan or other 
members of his regime for political or other crimes. A number 
of soldiers from the Lesotho Paramilitary Force who, in 
effect, mutinied against the force command structure prior to 
the January 1986 coup were reportedly put on trial. However, 
no judgment in their case has yet been made public. As noted 
in Section l.a., two of those persons died while in custody, 
possibly as a result of ill-treatment by government 
officials. Court martial proceedings were reportedly 
instituted against several other military personnel in 
November 1986, but the status of these proceedings had not 
been revealed at the end of 1987. 

The new Government continued programs in 1987 to increase 
familiarity with the law and its protection of individual 
rights through the educational system. The King's "practical 
law project," which is backed by the Ministers of Law and 
Education as well as by the judiciary, has begun to introduce 
a basic course on these subjects into the Lesotho high school 
curriculum. 



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LESOTHO 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

In general, these rights are respected in Lesotho, although 
under the Internal Security Act, the police have wide powers 
to stop and search persons and vehicles and to enter homes or 
other places for a similar purpose without a warrant. There 
were no reports of forced entry by authorities into private 
homes in Lesotho in 1987. < 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Human Rights Act of 1983 provides for freedom of 
expression but subordinates this freedom to the protection of 
national security. Following the January 1985 coup, a formal 
ban on politics was announced. This placed stringent 
restrictions on freedom of speech and political assembly. In 
particular, government Edict No. 4 prohibits individuals and 
groups from making political speeches and from publishing or 
distributing political party materials. In spite of this ban, 
however, leaders of Lesotho's five principal political parties 
made at least one joint public statement during 1987, calling 
for a prompt end to the present Government and an immediate 
return to civilian rule. There were no known reprisals, and 
the statement was broadcast on the government-run national 
radio . 

Moreover, opposition viewpoints are routinely expressed in two 
Sesotho-language weekly newspapers published by the Roman 
Catholic Church and the Lesotho Evangelical Church, the only 
privately owned newspapers in the country. The Government 
controls the official media (one radio station and a weekly 
newspaper) but rarely uses those media to attack its critics. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association. 

The military Government's ban on "politics" has not been 
interpreted to require the dissolution of existing political 
parties, but it precludes political meetings and rallies. 
Nonpolitical organizations and professional groups continue to 
hold regular meetings. Numerous persons meet privately to 
discuss politics. The military Government made no attempt in 
1987 to inhibit such political discussion. 

All trade unions in Lesotho enjoy the right to organize, 
bargain collectively, and strike. The 1964 Trade Union and 
Trade Disputes Law enumerates lengthy procedures which must be 
followed before a strike is called. The last general strike 
was in 1961. However, there were wildcat strikes in 1987 
against foreign companies linked to the Lesotho National 
Development Corporation over minimum wage rates. A compromise 
offer ended the work action, and the Government raised minimum 
wage rates in August 1987. Historically trade unionism has 
played a relatively minor role in society, largely because of 
the small size of the manufacturing, retail, and service 
sectors . 

Since 1984 the Government has supported the formation of a 
single new umbrella trade union confederation. Subsequently, 
24 of Lesotho's 28 independent trade unions joined the Lesotho 
Congress of Free Trade Unions (LCFTU) , which held its first 
convention in May 1985 and elected the existing leadership to 
a 3-year term. The LCFTU also helped redraft Lesotho's badly 



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LESOTHO 

outdated labor laws, which reportedly were still under review 
in 1987 by the Lesotho Employers Federation. 

The military- Government has supported non-LCFTU unions in the 
formation of another federation, the Lesotho Federation of 
Trade Unions (LFTU) . In 1987 the military Government 
designated the LFTU, the much smaller rival federation, to 
represent Lesotho at the International Labor Organization 
(ILO) annual conference in Geneva. The Secretary General of 
the LCFTU challenged the credentials of the LFTU delegation at 
the Geneva ILO meeting, and on his return to Lesotho the 
Government confiscated his passport. While LCFTU labor 
activities have not been curtailed, the Secretary General's 
passport has not been returned, and he is unable to travel 
outside of the country. The LCFTU is a member of the 
democratically oriented International Confederation of Free 
Trade Unions as well as of the Organization of African Trade 
Union Unity. 

In 1987 Lesotho hosted meetings of the Southern African Labor 
Commission and a Southern African Development Coordination 
Conference ministerial meeting of manpower officials. 
Although South African National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) 
officials visit Lesotho regularly, two NUM officials, both 
Basotho nationals, were briefly detained in Lesotho during the 
South African miners' strike, allegedly for involvement in 
"political activities." During the strike, the military 
Government urged Basotho workers not to engage in political 
activities in South Africa. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

There is no state religion in Lesotho. Free and open 
religious practice is permitted. Christianity is the dominant 
faith of the majority of Basotho, with the principal 
denomination being Roman Catholic. There is a significant 
Protestant minority as well, which is composed of the Lesotho 
Evangelical Church (Presbyterian), the Anglican Church, and a 
number of other smaller denominations. Conversion is 
permitted, and there is no indication that there is any social 
or political benefit or stigma attached to belonging to any 
particular church. 

Most church groups support the military Government's call for 
national reconciliation and some groups have been outspoken in 
1986 and 1987 in asking the Government to redouble its efforts 
to reintegrate Ntsu Mokhehle and his exiled LLA into the 
country's political life. 

In 1987 church leaders disagreed with government policy which 
allowed South African mining companies to recruit Basotho 
replacements for striking miners during the South African 
mineworkers strike. Clerical leaders issued a joint public 
statement exhorting potential recruits not to join this 
strikebreaking effort. Several church officials reportedly 
were questioned and watched by the police but otherwise were 
not harassed. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation. 

Citizens generally are allowed to move freely within the 

country and across national boundaries, although the Government 

does not hesitate to restrict passports in political cases, 
such as that of the Secretary General of the LCFTU. 



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LESOTHO 

The refugee flow into Lesotho from South Africa has continued 
at a slow but steady pace, currently numbering 10 to 20 
refugees per month. These persons have been accorded fair 
treatment, in line with Lesotho's international obligations, 
and have been given expeditious transit to third countries for 
resettlement . 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government. 

The military Government which assumed power in January 1986 
announced that it intends to remain in place until a process 
of national reconciliation has been completed. No time frame 
for this process has been announced, nor has any schedule been 
set for return to civilian rule, elections, or constitutional 
revision. Thus, the Basotho people currently do not have the 
freedom to replace the existing regime, nor do they play an 
active role in the governing process. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

There have been no requests for investigation of human rights 
abuses since the present Government assumed power, and hence 
its attitudes toward outside investigations are unknown. In 
the past, the Jonathan Government permitted representatives of 
Amnesty International to visit Lesotho to investigate human 
rights conditions and to have access to some security 
detainees who complained of abusive treatment. In 1987 
Lesotho completed a term on the U.N. Human Rights Commission. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Station. 

Most citizens of the Basotho nation speak a common language 
and share a common historical and cultural tradition. 
Nonindigenous citizens have generally married in the Basotho 
ethnic group, which tends to be inclusive and assimilative in 
character. Expatriate communities are small and not 
considered to be a major factor in the country's political 
life. Asians (primarily ethnic Chinese and Indians) and white 
South Africans are active in the country's commercial sector 
and are less favored than Basotho nationals. The military 
Government has announced a policy aimed at " indigenization" of 
the country's retail commercial sector and has called upon 
expatriate owners to transfer their businesses to Basotho 
nationals. Apparently, this transfer would be done with 
compensation. Exiles from South Africa have from time to time 
encountered some discrimination, since they are often viewed 
as magnets for real or imagined South African political or 
armed intervention. 

In the areas of property and contracts, married women's rights 
are limited by law and custom. For example, a married woman 
cannot apply for a loan without her husband's written 
consent. Women in Lesotho traditionally have been the 
stabilizing force in the home and in the agricultural sector, 
given the absence of over 100,000 Basotho men who work in 
South Africa. More female than male children complete primary 
and secondary schools. Better use of women's talents and 
abilities will depend on their access to credit, changes in 
land tenure laws, and cultural practices. The Government has 



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not yet seriously addressed the issue of women's rights, 
although there are a number of self-help projects initiated by 
Basotho women themselves. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Roughly 90 percent of the labor force in Lesotho is employed 
in traditional agriculture. More than half of Lesotho's male 
labor force work in the Republic of South Africa, mainly in 
gold and coal mines. Lesotho's Employment Act of 1967 spells 
out basic workers' rights, including a 45-hour workweek, a 
weekly rest period of at least 24 hours, 11 to 12 days' paid 
leave per year, and pay for public holidays. Employers are 
required to provide adequate light, ventilation, and sanitary 
facilities for employees and to install and maintain machinery 
to minimize the risk of injury. Children under 14 years of 
age are prohibited from employment in other than family 
businesses. Children under 16 are not allowed to work in 
excess of 8 hours a day, and employers are prohibited from 
employing any child in hazardous conditions. The Government 
sets minimum wages for various types of work. In practice, 
these regulations are generally followed only within the 
wage-scale economy. Enforcement mechanisms, however, are 
limited. 

In the nation's traditional society, life and working 
conditions for the country's young "herdboys" tend to be much 
more rigorous and demanding than conditions in the modern 
sector. Their quasi-pastoral life, however, is considered a 
prerequisite to eventual manhood and is a fundamental feature 
of Sotho life, tradition, and culture. 



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LIBERIA 



The Liberian Constitution provides for an American-style 
democratic system of government and guaranteed rights and 
freedoms for the individual. In practice, the legacy of recent 
military rule and the Liberian tradition of strong executive 
authority continue to prevent fulfillment of that ideal. 
Samuel K. Doe, who headed the Military Government which ruled 
from 1980 until the establishment of the Second Republic in 
January 1986, became President after elections in which Doe's 
claim of a narrow victory was widely believed to have been 
fabricated. He and his ruling party. The National Democratic 
Party of Liberia (NDPL) , dominate Liberian political life. 
Three opposition parties are recognized and permitted to 
function. Of these, one participates in electoral politics, 
and two continue their boycott of the Government and 
legislature to protest what they regard as a fraudulent 
election. 

While Liberia is now ruled by a civilian government, the army 
continues to be a bulwark of the current administration. 
Liberia's armed forces number about 7,000 members and are 
engaged mainly in guarding border crossings and fulfilling 
certain internal security functions. The lack of military 
discipline, especially among poorly paid enlisted men, 
resulted in much petty harassment of civilians. The police 
force is small and poorly trained. 

Liberia's mixed economy is based primarily on iron ore, rubber, 
and timber and has been in decline since the mid-1970's. It 
continues to suffer from foreign exchange shortages, widespread 
corruption, low export prices, a crushing debt burden, and 
governmental mismanagement. However, in 1987 there was growing 
appreciation of the need for fiscal discipline, manifested by 
the Government's request for American financial experts to 
help improve and manage government finances. 

The human rights situation improved in 1987, but serious 
problems remain. Seven daily newspapers circulated in 
Monrovia, including two which reappeared after being closed in 
1986. Journalists played an active role in the Government's 
anticorruption campaign and also reported on some human rights 
abuses. Institutionally, the legislature, though dominated by 
the ruling NDPL, displayed some independence from the executive 
branch by rejecting three presidential nominees to the Supreme 
Court and defeating or tabling several pieces of legislation 
supported by the executive branch. An extensive network of 
internal checkpoints, which was instituted in reaction to the 
1985 coup attempt and fostered intimidation and shakedowns of 
civilians, was largely dismantled late in the year. Some 
persons were detained without charge on security grounds, but 
none were known to be held at year's end. 

On the other hand, the general weakness of the administration 
of justice throughout Liberia continues to be a significant 
national problem. Most judicial and police officials are 
poorly trained and unaware of their legal obligations. The 
level of awareness of constitutional guarantees is low among 
both officials and the population at large. Arbitrary arrests 
for petty offenses, even for lack of "due courtesy" to public 
officials, and general harassment by military personnel occur 
frequently, while prolonged detention pending trial, or even 
without charge, is commonplace. A new Chief Justice, who had 
promised widespread reform, was impeached by the legislature 
for what many view as political reasons after becoming 
involved in a major constitutional dispute with the President. 



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RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 



Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of political killings occurring in 1987. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There were no reports of officially conducted torture in 1987. 
However, brutality by police and other security officials 
during the arrest and questioning of individuals is fairly 
common, and there have been no evident government efforts to 
halt it. In November three Liberian employees of the U.S. 
Embassy were detained following a traffic incident involving 
one of the President's vehicles. Two of the three were 
released after being held 5 days without charge and were 
examined by the Embassy doctor, who found they bore evidence 
of severe beatings. They were subsequently redetained, but no 
charges were filed. All three were finally released in January 
1988. A journalist arrested in August for photographing 
security officials without authorization alleged that he was 
beaten at the time of his apprehension. In May a student 
leader claimed that he was abducted and beaten by plainclothes 
security officers for several hours before being released. 

Prison conditions, which have been bad for decades, remained 
poor in 1987. Cells are often small and without windows or 
ventilation. Food, exercise opportunities, and sanitary 
facilities are inadequate. The maximum security prison at 
Belle Yella is notorious for its harsh regimen, including hard 
labor and the impossibility of family visits to prisoners given 
its remote location. The cells at one military detention 
facility in Monrovia are said by former inmates to be 3 feet 
high with a dirt floor. Although the Constitution states that 
civilians may not be confined in any military facility, this 
provision is frequently ignored. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Although police must have a warrant for arrests and persons 
must be charged or released within 48 hours, these 
constitutional provisions are often ignored in practice, 
particularly in cases involving alleged security threats or 
violations. A woman arrested near the Ivorian border and 
accused of communicating with Liberian dissidents in Cote 
d'lvoire was detained for several months in a military 
stockade without formal charges and without access to legal 
counsel. The journalist mentioned in the preceding section 
was held in a military cell for 5 days without being charged 
and without seeing a magistrate. Seventeen villagers from 
Nimba County were arrested and held for several weeks without 
formal charges after being accused by security officials of 
engaging in suspicious nocturnal dances and other activities. 
Gabriel Doe, a Liberian businessman with ties to the 
opposition, was detained without charge for 50 days, 
apparently because of security concerns arising out of an 
incident involving one of his fishing vessels. 



155 



Prolonged detention of persons without charge frequently 
occurs as a result of administrative and judicial neglect. 
Reports surfaced in 1987 that at least 15 young people rounded 
up in a police sweep of suspected street criminals in 1984 are 
still being held at Belle Yella prison, without charges, over 
3 years later. Details of the case are unconfirmed; however, 
it is generally acknowledged in the legal community that many 
of those now being held in Liberian prisons have been 
"forgotten" by the judicial system. The poor condition of the 
prisons makes such delay of justice particularly egregious. 
Two prisoners reportedly died in custody in 1987 after waiting 
over a year for cases to be brought against them. 

An American priest. Father James Hickey, resident in Liberia 
for over 20 years, was detained overnight and ordered to leave 
the country after the Government declared him to be an 
"undesirable alien," apparently because of his political 
views. Although the section of the immigration law cited by 
the Government in his case requires a conviction before 
deportation. Father Hickey was neither charged with a crime 
nor convicted. Several Lebanese nationals, accused of customs 
fraud and other economic crimes, were summarily deported in 
1987, also without benefit of judicial review. 

The Constitution prohibits forced labor, and the practice is 
firmly condemned by the Government. However, some have 
alleged that authorities in rural areas force local citizens 
to work on communal farms. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Liberia's civilian court system is based on Anglo-American 
jurisprudence and features similar judicial bodies, with the 
Supreme Court at the apex. The Constitution provides for 
public trials and states that there shall be no interference 
with the lawyer-client relationship. Nonetheless, the judicial 
system is often subject to manipulation, and reports of 
financial or political pressure on the courts are not uncommon. 

Despite constitutional provisions for separation of powers, 
the judiciary has a history of succumbing to the wishes of the 
executive. In June President Doe requested the resignation of 
the entire Supreme Court, saying that the people had lost 
confidence in it. All five justices complied, avoiding a 
constitutional confrontation and allowing the President to 
reconstitute the bench. 

The new Chief Justice, Chea Cheapoo, accepted a presidential 
mandate to direct wide-ranging judicial reform and began a 
major reorganization of the courts with scant regard for 
constitutional provisions regarding removal of judges. 
However, his efforts came to an abrupt end in November when he 
was impeached by the legislature following a dispute with the 
President over his handling of what he described as an 
attempted bribery case. Cheapoo had arrested and detained two 
persons, including a municipal court judge, for allegedly 
attempting to bribe him. The Chief Justice facilitated media 
coverage of the arrest and repeated allegations of 
presidential involvement in bribery. The following day. 
President Doe overruled Cheapoo, ordered the two released, and 
asked the legislature to consider whether Cheapoo's actions 
were constitutional. In impeaching Cheapoo, the legislature 
found that he had overstepped his constitutional authority by 
arresting a sitting judge. It also found his earlier 
dismissal of magistrates and other court officials to be 



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LIBERIA 

unconstitutional. While political considerations reportedly 
loomed large in this impeachment action, the legal issues 
involved in the bribery case and the impeachment proceeding 
were not clearcut. The incident prompted a significant 
political debate over the separation of powers and the 
constitutional prerogatives of both the executive and the 
judiciary. 

Persons have the right to legal counsel and to bail in 
noncapital offenses. Where the accused is unable to secure 
his or her own lawyer, the court is required to provide legal 
services, although this is rarely done for lack of resources. 

Traditional courts, presided over by tribal chiefs, are not 
bound by common law or conventional judicial principles; they 
apply customary and unwritten law to domestic and land disputes 
as well as petty crimes. These decisions may be reviewed in 
the statutory court system or appealed to a hierarchy of 
chiefs. Administrative review by the Ministry of Internal 
Affairs and, in some cases, a final review by the President 
may follow. Allegations of corruption and incompetence in the 
traditional courts are common. Local officials closed tribal 
courts on the Firestone plantation in July claiming that the 
traditional judges were abusing their authority. 

There were no known political prisoners held in Liberian 
prisons during 1987. However, several individuals have been 
detained for various periods (up to 2 months in one instance) 
pending "security investigations." None of the individuals 
involved was a political activist. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Military indiscipline remains a serious problem, reflecting a 
general lack of professionalism among poorly paid enlisted 
men. This surfaces in random shakedowns of civilians and 
arbitrary interrogations which, in some instances, have 
resulted in violence. In two separate incidents in July, 
members of the Special Anti terror ist Unit (SATU) shot and 
killed civilians, one after an apparently unsuccessful 
shakedown attempt and the other following a traffic 
disagreement. The soldiers involved were discharged and 
turned over to civilian authorities for prosecution. 

Interference in the lives of ordinary citizens occurs on a 
wider scale in rural areas, where local officials wield 
considerable power over the day-to-day activities of people 
and where proper police and judicial procedures are less 
likely to be followed. During the year, soldiers investigating 
alleged security threats in Nimba and Grand Cape Mount Counties 
reportedly harassed and threatened villagers, injuring some 
and causing others to flee into the bush. Legislators and 
other officials from Nimba County, the home of the leader of 
the unsuccessful 1985 coup attempt, publicly complained that 
soldiers and other security officials singled out citizens of 
the county for harassment. President Doe responded to these 
concerns by meeting with tribal leaders from the county in 
October and visiting the county in late November. Following 
his visit, he announced the closure of a substantial number of 
internal check points throughout the country, including many 
in Nimba County. 



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Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Liberian press is lively, and, despite some degree of 
self-censorship, opposition viewpoints are presented, even on 
government radio and television. All media refrain from 
direct attacks on the President and certain other government 
officials. Seven daily newspapers are currently published in 
Monrovia, one of which is government controlled, and each of 
the four political parties began publication of party 
newsletters during 1987. Two daily newspapers, not published 
since mid-1986 because of government pressure, resumed 
publication in 1987 with President Doe's approval. Their 
return to print encouraged the press to become markedly bolder 
in its investigations and editorials. When President Doe 
encouraged the press to investigate allegations of corruption 
in government, the newspapers began to publicize official 
corruption at a number of government agencies. One newspaper's 
revelations led to the dismissal of the Foreign Minister and 
two other officials for alleged involvement in a government 
scandal . 

On at least two occasions, government officials reacted 
harshly to newspaper articles critical of the Government. In 
February police officials summoned reporters from one newspaper 
to police headquarters following publication of an article 
alleging police brutality and reportedly demanded that the 
paper also print their version of the incident. In October the 
Supreme Court cited three journalists for contempt of court for 
publishing reports which challenged the Chief Justice to 
substantiate his public allegation that some journalists are 
corrupt. The case was apparently dropped following the 
impeachment of the Chief Justice. 

The Government reinstituted mandatory official accreditation 
of journalists in 1987 and issued credentials to nearly 400 
print and broadcast journalists. Although there is no 
evidence that any application or request was denied, the Press 
Union of Liberia objected to the new procedure as a form of 
"prior restraint." 

The Constitution includes provisions for freedom of expression, 
including freedom of speech and of the press, but also 
stipulates that persons be held "fully responsible for the 
abuse" of this right. Decree 88a, passed by the military 
Government in 1984, declares the spread of "rumors, lies, and 
disinformation" a felony. Although this decree is widely 
believed to be unconstitutional, it has not been revoked or 
challenged in the courts and is therefore technically still in 
force. Government authorities have not invoked the decree in 
the past 3 years, and no individual has ever been convicted of 
a violation of it. Nonetheless, journalists and others view 
the decree as an undue restriction on freedom of speech and 
the press and continue to call for its abolition. 

Although no foreign publications are officially banned, the 
Government still prevents circulation of the magazine West 
Africa, which frequently publishes articles critical of the 
Liberian Government. 

The government-controlled Liberian Broadcasting System runs 
the only television station in Liberia and two radio stations 
which give priority to government news. The Government's 
rural communication network offers a combination of 



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LIBERIA 

entertainment and development information to otherwise 
isolated areas. Two religiously affiliated, politically- 
independent radio stations are in operation and report 
critically on local events, though their news programs are 
subject to some government scrutiny. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The constitutional right to peaceful assembly and association 
is observed more often in urban areas than in rural areas. In 
1987 opposition groups conducted meetings and other 
organizational activities in the Monrovia area without 
interference from the Government. In some cases, meetings 
were allowed to be held in government facilities. However, 
government authorities in the countryside often prohibit 
opposition groups from holding meetings within their 
jurisdictions. Margibi County officials blocked several 
attempts by one opposition party to hold political meetings in 
the county in 1987. When opposition meetings do take place 
outside Monrovia, participants frequently are harassed. In 
May soldiers in Grand Bassa County arrested and detained 
several members of an opposition political party who were 
conducting a membership drive. A county official claimed that 
the persons concerned, who were teachers, were barred by the 
Constitution from participation in "active politics." (In 
fact, the Constitution does not enjoin members of any 
particular profession from political activity.) 

Opposition groups did not attempt to organize any significant 
public demonstrations in 1987, fearing that the Government 
would react harshly if they did. A 1986 Supreme Court ruling 
barred joint rallies and meetings of the collective 
opposition; however, leaders of the various opposition 
groupings meet on an informal basis without government 
interference . 

The ruling NDPL party maintains a task force, composed of 
several hundred young men, mostly unemployed, which opposition 
parties claim exists for the sole purpose of harassing and 
intimidating political opponents. After a number of violent 
confrontations with opposition members over the past few years, 
the NDPL task force maintained a lower profile in 1987. In 
January a number of task force leaders were detained on 
misdemeanor writs issued by the Ministry of Justice after they 
had threatened senior NDPL officials in an intraparty dispute. 
In July the United Peoples Party announced the formation of 
its own task force in reaction to perceived threats from the 
NDPL task force. Thus far, there have been no direct 
confrontations between the two groups. Although there is no 
formal policy within the Government requiring membership in 
the ruling NDPL, government employees are sometimes pressured 
to join the party. Most senior civil servants are members of 
the NDPL. 

Although Decree 2a, which bans student political activity on 
campuses, is technically still in effect, students participated 
in political activities during 1987. In August the Liberian 
National Student Union (LINSU) , wliich has been harshly critical 
of the Government, held its first National Congress in 8 years. 
Student unions at the University of Liberia and Cuttington 
University also held elections without incident. 

Nonetheless, there were at least two attempts to restrict the 
activities of student organizations and their leaders. In 
March, after considerable debate, the legislature rejected a 



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LIBERIA 

Government-sponsored bill which would have banned LINSU. In 
July the acting President of LINSU and a prominent young 
member of an opposition party were dismissed from their 
positions as teaching assistants at the University of Liberia. 
The university administration claimed the move was unrelated 
to the political activities of the two, but no other university 
employees were dismissed at the time. 

Workers have the right to form unions, organize, and bargain 
collectively. Liberia has a national trade union federation, 
the Liberian Federation of Labor Unions (LFLU) , which is an 
affiliate of the International Confederation of Free Trade 
Unions, and several independent unions. Union organizing, 
collective bargaining, and the internal operations of trade 
unions are largely free from government interference. PRC 
Decree 12 outlawing strikes and "any other type of labor 
unrest" is still on the books, but brief strikes have occurred 
despite this ban. The new labor code, which would supersede 
Decree 12 by permitting strikes under certain circumstances, 
has languished in the legislature since early 1986. 

The Government does not recognize the right of civil servants 
or employees of parastatals (public corporations) to unionize 
or to strike. In March the legislature enforced this 
prohibition by invalidating the charter of the National 
Teachers Union. (The organization continues to function, but 
as an "association" rather than a union.) In August a 
Government-sponsored Civil Service Reform Bill was introduced 
in the legislature which would codify these restrictions on 
government employees and also enjoin them from membership in 
political parties. The LFLU, the independent unions, and the 
opposition political parties voiced strong opposition to the 
measure, however, and the legislature adjourned without taking 
action on the bill. In 1985 the International Labor 
Organization (ILO) noted that the Liberian Government's 
restrictions on government employees are in violation of ILO 
Convention 87 regarding freedom of association. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

The Constitution states that freedom of religion is a 
fundamental right of all Liberian citizens. No religion has 
preference over any other, and there is no established state 
religion. Christianity, brought by 19th-century settlers and 
spread through the interior by missionaries, has long been the 
religion of the political and economic elite. The majority of 
the rural population continues to practice traditional 
religions. Approximately 25 percent of the population is 
Muslim. The Liberian Council of Churches, an organization 
comprising most of the Christian denominations in Liberia, 
occasionally plays a prominent role in national affairs. 
Early in 1987, a Bong County court indicted over 300 members 
of the Poro, a traditional secret society based in rural 
areas, for criminal offenses related to attacks on Christian 
missions. Poro members alleged that Christian clergy were 
divulging Poro secrets in their quest to win converts. 
Charges against the indicted Poro members apparently were 
dropped after the two sides agreed, with the help of 
government mediation, not to interfere in each other's 
activities . 



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LIBERIA 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

The Constitution provides every person the right to move 
freely throughout Liberia and to leave or enter Liberia at any 
time. Although domestic movement was impeded by the extensive 
network of internal checkpoints instituted in reaction to the 
1985 coup attempt, the majority of these checkpoints were 
dismantled late in the year. Police and military personnel at 
these checkpoints routinely searched vehicles and solicited 
bribes from passengers. 

While restrictions on the foreign travel of former political 
prisoners were lifted early in 1987, passport issuance was 
sometimes delayed, apparently for political reasons. Exit 
visas are required for all Liberians leaving the country. 
Though these were routinely granted in 1987, persons wishing 
to leave must first submit proof that they have paid taxes and 
uti lity bi lis . 

Refugees are not forced to return to the countries from which 
they have fled. In a few cases, however, the Government has 
sought to deport refugees who became involved in political 
affairs. In 1986 the Government arrested a South African 
refugee for participating in a political demonstration, 
claiming that by doing so he violated the conditions of his 
asylum in Liberia. The refugee was still being held in 
custody without charges at the end of 1987 pending government 
arrangements to deport him to another country. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Despite constitutional provisions and universal suffrage, it 
has not conclusively been shown that citizens are free in 
practice to change their government democratically. The 
President and his ruling party, the NDPL, still have much more 
power than other branches of government and other political 
parties. Many officials from the former military regime, 
which was headed by President Doe, still hold positions of 
authority in the current Government, and the military, in 
general, still wields substantial influence in political 
affairs . 

The legislature became increasingly assertive in 1987, 
rejecting three presidential nominees for the Supreme Court 
and defeating or deferring several pieces of legislation 
supported by the executive branch. Nonetheless, the President 
can still count on legislative support on issues of prime 
importance to him. For example, after controversial remarks 
by the Chairman of the United Peoples Party (UPP) in August, 
President Doe convoked a special session of the legislature 
and reportedly demanded that the party be banned. No action 
was taken ultimately, but the heavy official condemnation of 
the UPP leader served to chill the political atmosphere. On 
another issue, the Cheapoo impeachment, the Senate was 
unanimous in its impeachment conviction, despite the fact that 
the general public was clearly divided on the issue. In each 
of these incidents, widespread dislike for the target of the 
President's ire helped him win legislative support. Opposition 
parties continue to boycott the legislature; however, a group 
of legislators, elected in 1985 on opposition tickets but 
taking seats as independents, has formed a caucus and 
functions as an informal opposition party. 



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LIBERIA 

The Constitution prohibits the creation of a one-party state, 
ensures free and fair elections by secret ballot, and provides 
for an Elections Commission to monitor all political activities 
in the country. The elections law empowers the Commission to 
certify parties, conduct all elections, and count election 
ballots. The five Commission members are appointed by the 
executive for life and currently are all ex-NDPL members. 
Citing the widespread fraud that occurred during the 1985 
elections, the opposition has called for an independent 
vote-counting mechanism. 

Three opposition political parties are officially recognized 
by the Elections Commission--the United Peoples Party, the 
Liberian Action Party, and the Unity Party. A fourth party, 
the Liberian Unification Party (LUP) , had its charter revoked 
for failure to comply with financial requirements for 
registration . 

In June 1987, nonpartisan elections for traditional tribal 
chiefs were held by secret ballot. The Elections Commission 
encountered great difficulty in educating the largely 
illiterate rural population in election procedures. Reports 
of vote-tampering and other irregularities also marred the 
elections. A group of 47 unsuccessful candidates, from a 
total of over 1,400 contenders, petitioned the Supreme Court 
to invalidate the announced results. The issue dissipated 
following an appeal to the chiefs from President Doe to accept 
the election results. 

The opposition UPP joined the NDPL in contesting byelections 
for two legislative seats in December. Turnout for the 
elections, which were won by the NDPL, was very low. 
Controversy arose once more over vote counting procedures, 
although the UPP did not formally challenge the outcome. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

No international organizations are known to have sought the 
Liberian Government's cooperation in 1987 to investigate any 
alleged human rights violations. The Government permitted 
representatives from several groups, including Amnesty 
International and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, to 
observe controversial treason trials held in 1986. The 
Government received an official from the International 
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in May and routinely permits 
representatives of the local Red Cross to visit prison 
facilities in the Monrovia area. The isolated maximum security 
prison at Belle Yella is generally considered off-limits to 
outside inspection, though a group of reporters was permitted 
to visit the facility in 1986. 

The National Alliance for Peace and Human Rights, a nonpartisan 
human rights organization formed by Liberians in 1986, lapsed 
into inactivity in 1987, in large part because of 
organizational problems. While the Government never granted 
the group official recognition, there was no attempt to 
prevent it from meeting. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The Constitution states that "only persons who are Negroes or 
of Negro descent" shall qualify by birth or naturalization to 



162 



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be citizens of Liberia. The Constitution further states that 
only Liberian citizens can own real property. These provisions 
discriminate against many nonblack residents who were born in 
Liberia and consider it their home. Otherwise, there is no 
officially sanctioned discrimination on the basis of race, 
sex, religion, language, or social status. However, members 
of President Doe's Krahn ethnic group hold a disproportionate 
number of high posts in the Government and military and are 
widely believed to be given preference in competing for 
lower-level jobs. 

The status of women varies by region. In urban areas and 
along the coast, women can inherit land and property. In 
rural areas, where traditional ties are stronger, a woman is 
normally considered the property of her husband and his clan 
and is not usually entitled to inherit from her husband. In 
newly urban areas, many women are subject to both customary 
and statutory legal systems. Female circumcision is widely 
practiced by those Liberians following traditional religions. 
Women in Liberia currently hold posts in the Cabinet, the 
legislature, the judiciary, and professions throughout the 
modern economy, but remain underrepresented in most jobs in 
the wage economy. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Liberia's labor laws provide for minimum wages and set health 
and safety standards. The minimum wage of an agricultural 
worker, for example, is $2.00 per day. The workweek is 
normally 40 hours. Inspection is not rigorous, however. 
Employers are prohibited from employing children under 16 
years of age during school hours. This is a difficult statute 
to enforce, since many children are engaged in subsistence 
farming and only a minority ever attend school. Any employee 
can file a grievance with a labor inspector. 



163 



MADAGASCAR 



Madagascar is governed by a president and a parliament (the 
National Popular Assembly), both elected by direct universal 
suffrage, which together choose the Supreme Revolutionary 
Council. President Didier Ratsiraka has broad constitutional 
powers, and his position is further strengthened by the 
influential role played by his political party, AREMA, which 
holds an overwhelming majority in the National Popular 
Assembly. Elections are actively contested within the 
controlled political framework sanctioned by the Government. 
This framework permits political activity only by the seven 
parties making up the National Front for the Defense of the 
Revolution. The political orientation of the seven parties 
ranges from moderate and pro-Western to pro-Soviet. The 
President chairs the Supreme Revolutionary Council, composed 
of political and regional leaders and representatives of the 
military forces. The Council approves basic policy and 
guidelines, convenes and adjourns the National Popular 
Assembly, and passes laws when the Assembly is not sitting. 

The Malagasy internal security forces are composed of the 
urban police force and the National Gendarmerie, the latter 
has jurisdiction in the provinces. On occasion, the National 
People's Army has also been used for internal security 
purposes . 

In 1987 continuing vigorous debate in the Assembly over the 
recurrent stagnation of the economy and conseguent unrest led 
four of the parties within the National Front to form an 
opposition alliance. This alliance, in an unprecedented move, 
voted against the national budget in the 1986 session, lending 
further credence that a genuine opposition in Malagasy 
politics may be evolving. 

The Malagasy Constitution adopted in 1975 made "socialism" the 
State's political philosophy. This led to the nationalization 
of a major portion of the economy. The private sector was 
reduced to a secondary, albeit still important, role. The 
economy subsequently deteriorated as production declined, 
foreign debt rose, and unemployment grew, especially among the 
youth (60 percent of the population is under age 25). In 
recent years, however, the Government has taken steps toward 
liberalizing the economy. Reform measures in the production 
and marketing of rice have, for example, begun to show 
positive results. 

Although fundamental liberties and individual rights are 
guaranteed by the Constitution, several of these rights, such 
as freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, are 
restricted in practice or are subject to exclusionary clauses 
in most laws. Rights such as the inviolability of the home 
and due process may also be disregarded in cases involving 
state security. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

While there were recurring rumors of politically motivated 
killings, there has been no conclusive evidence to 
substantiate such rumors. For instance, in May 1986, the 
Minister of Defense, his Secretary General, and the Director 



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MADAGASCAR 

of OMNIS (the Military Office of Strategic Industries) were 
killed in a plane crash along with eight other people. While 
there is no evidence that the plane was sabotaged, the 
Government launched an official inquiry into the matter, the 
findings of which have yet to be published. Amnesty 
International in its 1986 Report (covering 1985) called on the 
authorities to investigate the death of Father Sergio Sorgone, 
a Roman Catholic priest, who may have been killed for political 
reasons by members of the TTS, a paramilitary youth group which 
supports the Government, as well as the deaths of four other 
priests who may have been victims of political killings. More 
recently, the near fatal stabbing in September of a senior 
opposition party official and member of the Supreme 
Revolutionary Council, Dr. Radio Celestin, has once again 
stirred rumors of political crime. 

In 1987 there was no further violence involving members of the 
TTS and the "kung-fu" movement. Following street fighting in 
1984, the victorious kung-fu groups began to play a vigilante 
role in Antananarivo's poorer districts and thus represented a 
threat to the State. The ensuing clashes in August 1985 
between the military and the kung-fu adherents resulted in, 
according to the official count, 20 dead, 31 wounded, and 208 
arrested. In their suppression of the kung-fu threat, the 
military entered some homes without court orders and ransacked 
them, shot some suspects on sight, and arrested others without 
formal charges. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no confirmed cases of politically motivated 
disappearance in 1987. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

While there were no documented cases of physical torture 
occurring in Madagascar, some organizations in the security 
apparatus, notably the state secret police, have a reputation 
for ruthless methods. The kung-fu prisoners have allegedly 
suffered from very cruel treatment while in detention. There 
have also been credible reports of the alleged use of torture 
by the armed forces in the Government's campaign against 
outlaw bandits in Madagascar's southwest. 

Malagasy prisons are increasingly inhumane in terms of living 
conditions. Some prisoners are not fed regularly, medical 
care is not provided, infections are commonplace, prisoners 
rarely have the opportunity to wash, and clothing is not 
provided. The death toll rises significantly among prisoners 
during the cold winter months. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Persons suspected of activity against the State may be legally 
detained incommunicado for 15 days, subject to indefinite 
extension if considered necessary by the Government. 
Indefinite extension is frequently deemed necessary. In the 
past, certain defendants involved in security cases were 
detained without being brought to trial for periods ranging 
from 20 months to over 5 years. Such extended periods of 
pretrial detention are exceptions and are usually limited to 
cases involving national security. 



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MADAGASCAR 

In a normal criminal case, the accused must be charged or 
released within 3 days of arrest. Defendants in ordinary 
criminal/civil cases are generally charged formally within the 
specified time frame, and upon being charged, are permitted 
legal counsel. Counsel is readily available, and court- 
appointed counsel is provided for indigents. 

Thirty-seven of the kung-fu adherents, including one woman, 
have been imprisoned without trial since August 1985 at 
Arivonimamo prison. At the end of 1987, no trial had been 
scheduled, and they had not been charged. In its 1987 Report 
(covering 1986), Amnesty International expressed concern about 
these detentions, and stated that some may be "prisoners of 
conscience. " 

Forced labor is not practiced in Madagascar. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The Malagasy Constitution provides for an independent 
judiciary. In practice, the judiciary seems to function 
without outside influence from the executive. 

The judiciary has three levels of trial courts: lower courts 
for civil and criminal cases in which limited sentences may be 
levied, a Court of Appeals which includes a Criminal Court for 
cases in which sentences of 5 years or more may be imposed, 
and a Supreme Court. The judiciary also has a number of 
special courts designed to handle specific kinds of cases 
under the jurisdiction of the higher courts. A High 
Constitutional Court, with a totally separate and autonomous 
status, watches over the constitutionality of laws, decrees, 
and ordinances and ensures the legality of elections. A High 
Court of Justice, charged with prosecuting malfeasance in the 
Government, is provided for in the Constitution but has never 
come into existence. A Military Court has jurisdiction over 
all cases involving national security. The trial for the 
kung-fu adherents could take place in either the Military 
Court or the Criminal Court of the Court of Appeals. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The State does not generally intervene in nonpolitical aspects 
of the lives of the people. The home is inviolable under 
Malagasy law, and intrusions into an individual's residence, 
except in political or sensitive cases, must be made under the 
authority of a search warrant. However, in their suppression 
of kung-fu gangs, the military entered some homes without 
court orders and ransacked them. 

Although government economic policies limit the choices, 
Malagasy citizens may make their own decisions, without 
government coercion or interference, in such matters as 
changing jobs or residence, marriage, having children, and 
joining permitted political parties or social organizations. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Private citizens have limited freedom to criticize government 
officials and policies without fear of arrest by the local 
authorities, but such criticism must be carefully worded. 



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MADAGASCAR 

Direct criticism of the President or the "Socialist 
revolution" is not tolerated. 

Madagascar has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, 
and Malagasy citizens attach great importance to the press. 
What is printed in the newspaper often has an impact on the 
nation's policymaking apparatus. Critical examination of a 
range of policy issues such as economic management, 
transportation, and education can be found in the printed 
press. However, censorship is prescribed by the Government 
and executed by the Ministry of Interior. Copies of the daily 
newspapers are submitted to the censors prior to printing. 
When censorship is enforced, the newspaper leaves blank those 
columns where the offending articles would have appeared. In 
instances of violations of censorship, the Ministry has and 
occasionally uses its administrative authority to suspend 
publication. There is one government-owned newspaper. The 
two major independently owned newspapers are Madagascar Matin 
and Midi Madagasikara . Several other dailies and weeklies are 
published by party groups and independent publishers, including 
the outspoken and candid Catholic newspaper, Lakroa. 

The Government owns the radio and television stations. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The rights of assembly and association are restricted. 
Permits are required to hold public meetings and can be denied 
by the Government if officials believe that the meeting poses 
a threat to the State or endangers national unity. Persons 
and groups belonging to parties of the National Front are 
permitted to organize and assemble. Nevertheless, since 
political activity by groups outside the National Front is 
prohibited, dissenting political opinion is limited. 

The first half of 1987 witnessed a resurgence of major student 
unrest in the form of massive, violent demonstrations and 
student strikes sparked by student opposition to educational 
reform measures announced by the Government in late 1986. 

Although the right to organize labor unions is recognized, 
unions are not important either politically or economically. 
The labor force, about 4.9 million workers, is mostly agrarian 
(85 percent). Union labor accounts for less than 5 percent of 
the total. Unions are permitted to strike and conduct wage 
negotiations, but because of the depressed economy, strikes 
have been few, and trade unions relatively quiescent. Most 
unions are affiliated with National Front parties. 

Madagascar is an active member of the Madagascar delegation to 
the International Labor Organization (ILO) and was a 
participant in discussions regarding the rights of seamen to 
organize trade unions at the 74th annual meeting of the ILO in 
September 1987. Unions are affiliated with regional and 
international labor bodies such as the International 
Confederation of Free Trade Unions and World Federation of 
Trade Unions. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

The Government is secular, and there is no official religion. 
There is no discrimination on the basis of religious 
affiliation, and persons are free to follow the faith of their 
choice. Missionaries and clergy are generally permitted to 
operate freely, and the Government has so far made no effort 



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MADAGASCAR 

to restrain those Christian churches which have become more 
active in criticizing government policies. Over half of the 
population is either Catholic or Protestant, with the remainder 
following traditional Malagasy religious beliefs or other 
faiths . 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

The Government has imposed no restriction on travel within the 
country. Official approval must be obtained for trips outside 
the country, but there has been only one known instance in 
which approval was denied due to the person's political 
views. Foreign travel is impeded by the difficulty in 
obtaining foreign currency. The Malagasy franc is not 
convertible abroad, and the Government limits the amount of 
hard currency that can be obtained for foreign travel. There 
is no refugee population in Madagascar. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The electorate's choice is constrained by the nature of the 
political system, since the only political parties allowed to 
operate in Madagascar are those which are members of the 
National Front. However, there exists a range of ideological 
and policy views among the seven Front parties, and there are 
viewpoints within this spectrum which are at odds with the 
policies of the administration. Thus, the electoral process 
provides the voters a chance to choose among candidates 
expressing differing views in local and regional elections, as 
well as in the Assembly and presidential campaigns. The 137 
members of the National Popular Assembly are elected by 
universal suffrage for 5-year terms. The last election was in 
1983. (The Supreme Revolutionary Council, in October, 
extended the terms of Assembly deputies by 9 months, according 
to official reports, for economic reasons.) The President is 
elected to a 7-year term with the next election falling due in 
1989. The electoral process, although not completely free 
from irregularities, has been essentially straightforward in 
recent elections. The political system in Madagascar also 
reflects a considerable degree of regional balance. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government has not cooperated with groups wishing to 
investigate alleged human rights violations and has denied 
visas to Amnesty International representatives. When the 
President's opponent in the 1982 election campaign called for 
supervision of the elections by Amnesty International, the 
President rejected the proposal as being derogatory to 
national sovereignty. In the absence of private human rights 
groups, the Christian churches in the country have taken the 
lead in advocating human rights. Although the Government is 
sensitive to criticism emanating from this guarter, it has not 
officially responded to guestions or criticisms from the 
churches or any other group. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

While there appears to be no customary practice of 
institutional or systematic discrimination on the basis of 



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MADAGASCAR 

ethnic grouping in Madagascar, a serious outbreak of violence 
and plunder of Indian-owned property across Madagascar 
occurred in March. This prosperous community estimated at 
some 18,000 persons of Indian origin, referred to locally as 
"karana," is essentially engaged in commerce. The "karana" 
are generally considered by the Malagasy as not prone to 
integration due to a variety of religious and cultural 
reasons. While no Indians were killed in these riots, several 
looters were killed, many wounded, and property damage was 
great. The looting reportedly began when allegations 
circulated that Indian retailers were involved in rice 
speculation and illegal transactions in scarce items such as 
cooking oil and sugar. The simultaneous outbreak of these 
riots in cities across the island and limited damage outside 
the Indian community have fueled rumors that these incidents 
were carefully coordinated and organized. The Chinese and 
French communities also have experienced some resentment from 
the Malagasy mainly because of their success in commerce. 
These groups have occasionally been the target of local 
government policies favoring Malagasy nationals. 

Madagascar has what is essentially a matriarchal society. A 
highly visible role for women has long been recognized as an 
integral part of the country's sociological framework. Women 
have a lengthy tradition of involvement in high-level 
political activity, and currently women are members of the 
Cabinet, the Supreme Revolutionary Council, and the Assembly. 
Women are also active and play major roles in the various 
political parties. Women have a prominent role in the 
business and economic life of the country, with many of them 
managing or owning business concerns or filling management 
positions in state industries. Education at all levels is 
open to women. However, women in rural areas and among the 
poor face a greater degree of hardship. In addition to the 
responsibilities associated with child rearing and household 
management, economic necessity forces these women to engage in 
farm labor or other similar activities. These conditions stem 
more from socioeconomic factors than from a discrim.inatory 
bias against women in Malagasy society. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The Malagasy Work Code and its enforcing legislation set forth 
the working conditions required for employees. The Work Code 
describes a child as any person, regardless of gender, under 
the age of 18. The minimum age for employment is 14, but the 
use of child labor is prohibited in those areas where there is 
apparent and imminent danger. There is a 44-hour workweek in 
nonagricultural and service industries. There are also 
provisions for holiday pay, sick and maternity leave, and 
insurance. Malagasy law distinguishes between agricultural 
and nonagricultural work. The average minimum wage is about 
15 cents per hour. The Work Code has rules concerning 
building safety, machinery and moving engines, operational 
safety, and sanitation standards. It appears that in 
practice, the rules and regulations of the Code are adhered to 
by employers and are enforced by the authorities. Labor 
inspectors carry out regular visits to industrial work sites. 
Violations of safety, sanitary, operational, and other work 
code provisions are the subject of reports by these 
inspectors. If the violations are not remedied within a 
specified time frame, the violators are legally charged and 
subject to various penalties. 



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MALAWI 



The President of Malawi, Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda, has maintained 
nearly undisputed control over political life and government 
since he led the country to its independence in 1964. He was 
proclaimed "Life President" in 1970. Political activity is 
limited to participation in the sole legal party, the Malawi 
Congress Party. Malawi inherited a parliamentary form of 
government from Great Britain. Parliamentary elections, which 
are required at least every 5 years, were held in 1987. 
Almost all constituencies were contested, although only 
candidates selected by the party and approved by the President 
were allowed to run. Nearly half of the incumbents were not 
reelected. Constitutional amendments and laws passed by the 
Parliament reflect decisions already taken by the President. 

Military, police, and party security organs suppress opposition 
to the Government and monitor a wide range of activities. The 
small Malawian military establishment (6,000 men) faced a major 
new problem in 1987: providing military protection to permit 
the reopening and operation of the Nacala railroad line in 
Mozambique, pursuant to a December 1986 accord. 

Malawi is a small, densely populated, landlocked country whose 
principal assets are moderately fertile soils, good water 
resources, and a climate favorable to crop production. It has 
a primarily market-oriented economy. Since 1981 the Government 
has been pursuing a structural adjustment program, with the 
assistance of the International Monetary Fund and the World 
Bank. It has made substantial progress in agricultural 
development and has been moving to reduce subsidies and divest 
itself of parastatals (public corporations). Despite this 
progress, annual per capita gross national product in 1985 
measured only $210 per year. Malawi's population of 7.2 
million people is growing at an estimated annual rate of 3.1 
percent. Possessing no significant mineral resources or 
industrial sector, Malawi is heavily dependent on agriculture 
for export earnings and employment. 

In 1987 human rights continued to be widely circumscribed. 
Two cases again received international attention from human 
rights groups, as appeals and inquiries were made on behalf of 
a former opposition leader, Orton Chirwa, and his wife. Vera 
Chirwa, both serving life sentences for alleged treason 
(commuted from death sentences in 1984). In September the 
Government arrested a well-known professor and poet and 
continued to detain him without charge at the end of 1987. 

Over the past year, Malawi became host to one of the largest 
refugee populations in Africa. Since mid-1986, when it had 
almost no refugees, Malawi has experienced a massive influx of 
Mozambicans fleeing anarchic conditions, famine, and fighting 
between Mozambican government forces and insurgents. By the 
end of 1987, there were approximately 400,000 refugees in 
Malawi. In some areas their numbers were equal to the 
Malawian population. The Government has accepted these 
refugees and, with the help of international humanitarian 
organizations, worked to provide adequate relief assistance. 



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RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 



Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no allegations of politically motivated killings 
during 1987. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no known political disappearances in 1987. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Beatings by the police at the time of detention or arrest, or 
during interrogation, are illegal but do occur. In its 1987 
Report, Amnesty International stated that severe beatings of 
political detainees and criminal suspects were reported to be 
common. It also noted that the organization investigated in 
1986 two reported deaths of detainees due to torture. 

Prison terms of hard labor are the norm for common criminals. 
Prison conditions are generally believed to be poor but are 
difficult to verify since access to prisons is tightly 
controlled. According to one report, some criminals were sent 
to remote prisons where insufficient food was provided. 
Several are believed to have died of malnutrition. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Under the Preservation of Public Security Act, the President 
may order the arrest, search, and detention of any person the 
Government suspects may "undermine" the authority of the 
Government. A person arrested under this law can be detained 
indefinitely by the police without trial. The Act also 
authorizes certain officials to detain individuals for 25 days. 

Whether or not under the Public Security Act, Malawi residents 
may be picked up at the whim of the authorities, held without 
charge for varying and indeterminate lengths of time, and 
released. Persons may be detained for "political" offenses 
against the party or government. Suspicion of corruption also 
is a frequent cause for arrest. Those detained are rarely 
charged officially or brought before courts. It is impossible 
to estimate the number of arbitrary detentions and arrests 
made in Malawi in 1987. Persons charged with crimes are 
usually held in custody while awaiting trial, and delays of 3 
years or longer before a case is heard are common. 

In one such case, Aleke Banda, a former high-ranking member of 
the Government and party, has been detained for over 7 years 
although charges against him have not been made public. Jack 
Mapanje, the head of the English Department at Chancellor 
College, was arrested by police on September 25. The reasons 
for his detention have not been made public, but it may be 
related to his poetry, some of which was doubtless seen as 
critical of the Government. 

Forced labor is sometimes used as a form of criminal punishment 
but is not otherwise practiced. 



171 

/ 

MALAWI 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Malawi has both a traditional court system, which deals with 
most criminal cases against Africans, including most capital 
offenses, and a modern court system which generally handles 
civil cases and criminal cases against Europeans and Asians. 
Those charged under the Military Code of Justice are tried in 
military courts. Lawyers are not permitted to assist 
defendants in traditional court cases, but legal counsel is 
permitted in the modern court system. The right of appeal 
exists in both the modern and traditional court systems. Most 
political cases are tried in the traditional court system, as 
in the case of Orton and Vera Chirwa, who were sentenced to 
death in 1983 by the Southern Regional Traditional Court, but 
subsequently had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment. 

In practice, the Government and party exert little control in 
cases tried in the modern court system consisting of the High 
Court and Magistrate Courts. The President appoints the Chief 
Justice of the High Court who, in turn, appoints other modern 
court justices. Magistrates may be removed from their 
positions for incompetence, malfeasance, or in the public 
interest as determined by the executive branch. This lack of 
job security acts as a form of government pressure. These 
courts are open to the public, and defendants are charged 
publicly. 

The three traditional courts at the regional level deal with 
most capital offenses. Police officials handle the 
prosecution, and defendants handle their own defense. There 
is no presumption of innocence, and common law rules of 
evidence do not apply. Traditional court justices are 
appointed directly by the President. Of the five members of 
each regional traditional court, three are chiefs generally 
without formal legal training, one is a trained lawyer who 
advises the court, and the fifth, the chairman, has had a 
course in law. Traditional court proceedings and the records 
of those proceedings are not open to the public, although 
summaries of some cases have occasionally been published in 
the newspapers. It is generally believed that there is little 
executive interference in traditional court cases dealing in 
matters of customary law. A guilty verdict is reviewed by the 
National Traditional Court, and a ministerial committee 
considers clemency. 

The Forfeiture Act permits the Government to revoke the 
property rights of those suspected of economic crimes. These 
revocations sometimes have political overtones. When the 
Forfeiture Act is invoked, the person loses all worldly 
possessions, including business and financial and personal 
assets. Revocation of property rights is carried out by 
executive fiat with no judicial review. Notice of forfeiture 
must be published in the official gazette. In 1987, for the 
first time in several years, the Forfeiture Act was invoked. 
About 26 forfeiture actions were undertaken against individuals 
and businesses, apparently because they were suspected of 
involvement in illegal foreign exchange transactions. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Police enter houses of suspects at will under special entry 
authority to conduct searches for people or incriminating 
evidence. The authorities monitor correspondence and often 
open domestic and international mail. 



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MALAWI 
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Criticism of the Government and its policies is not allowed, 
even by the Parliament. The Public Security Regulations make 
it an offense to publish anything likely "to undermine the 
authority of, or public confidence in the Government." 
Although the Life President is in his late 80's, discussion of 
Malawi's political future after his death also is not 
permitted. In a speech in September, the President himself 
addressed the issue, saying he would not name a successor. 
His remarks were widely reported, but it was clear that their 
intent was to limit speculation rather than encourage public 
debate. 

The media do not submit their news items and programs to the 
Government in advance for approval or censorship, but informal, 
strict self-censorship "guidelines" are understood by the 
media. The penalty for publishing material which meets with 
official displeasure can be severe. Journalists have been 
jailed for extended periods for overstepping these 
"guidelines." The two newspapers and sole government-owned 
radio station have, however, exhibited increasing candor in 
coverage of international issues. In addition, criticism of 
the efficiency of some government departments has appeared in 
the media and Parliament. 

Limited freedom of inquiry into the natural and social 
sciences exists at the university and may include some 
examination of radical political ideologies, provided this 
does not extend to explicit criticism of the Government. The 
arrest and detention of Professor Mapanje raised new concerns 
in the academic and intellectual community. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

No political meetings are permitted, other than those of the 
Congress Party. Individuals may be imprisoned if they further 
the aims of an "unlawful society," that is, any group 
considered to be "dangerous to the good government of the 
Republic." In the nonpolitical sphere, individuals and 
organizations generally are free to meet and associate. 
Professional, fraternal, and service organizations exist and 
are encouraged by the Government. 

In the small wage sector, labor unions exist, but their 
activities are highly circumscribed, and they are generally 
ineffective in achieving gains for workers. The principal 
explanation is as much economic as political: the economy of 
Malawi can sustain only a small number of wage earners, most 
of whom occupy positions as unskilled laborers on large estate 
farms . 

Collective bargaining theoretically is allowed, but its use is 
limited. The Government intervenes to influence wages and 
working conditions. Malawi law guarantees the right to 
strike, but in practice strikes do not occur. Labor unions 
come under the umbrella organization, the Malawi Trade Union 
Congress (MTUC) . With government supervision, the MTUC 
associates with international organizations and is a member of 
the Organization of African Trade Union Unity and of the 
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. 



173 

MALAWI 

c. Freedom of Religion 

There is no state or preferred religion, but religious groups 
are required to register with the Government. Except for 
Jehovah's Witnesses, religious groups may establish places of 
worship and train clergy. Their publications, like all others, 
must not criticize the Government or the party. They are free 
to establish and maintain links with coreligionists in other 
countries, and members are free to travel abroad. Similarly, 
missionaries from abroad are permitted to enter Malawi and 
proselytize. There is no tie between a particular religion 
and the Malawi Congress Party. 

Jehovah's Witnesses, whose religious convictions prevent them 
from joining party groupings, have been banned since 1967. 
The Government considers the sect's activities to be 
disruptive of "the prevailing calm, law, and order." There is 
no evidence that Jehovah's Witnesses have been active in 
Malawi in recent years, except for a group of several hundred 
Mozambican refugees. The Government has treated this group in 
a nondiscriminatory manner. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

There are few restrictions, in practice, on movement within 
Malawi, though legal provisions exist for restricting the 
movement of those convicted of political or criminal 
offenses. Asian residents and citizens are free to travel 
within the country but must reside and work in one of four 
urban areas (Lilongwe, Zomba, Mzuzu, and Blantyre/Limbe) . 
Denial of passports on political grounds frequently extends to 
family members of persons in political disfavor and to those 
persons the Government suspects may criticize it if allowed to 
travel abroad. Civil servants and employees of state-owned 
enterprises must obtain written permission to travel abroad, 
even on vacation. Obtaining such clearance can take from a 
few days to several months. Formal emigration is neither 
restricted nor encouraged. With the exception of a small 
group of political dissidents, there is no outward flow of 
Malawian refugees from the country. Citizenship may be 
revoked but in practice this is not done. 

Malawi has acted in a responsible and responsive manner to the 
large influx of Mozambicans it hosts. The refugees, located 
in heavily populated areas with little available land, have 
placed a great strain on the economy and on the transportation 
and social services networks. The Government has devoted many 
of its own scarce resources to assisting the refugees and has 
permitted international and private voluntary organizations to 
operate relief efforts. These efforts are coordinated by a 
committee chaired by the Ministry of Health. The United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was allowed to 
open an office, and Malawi has also acceded to the Geneva 
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The U.N. and 
other international assistance groups are able to travel 
freely to assess relief needs and to investigate allegations 
of protection problems. There were no substantiated reports 
of Mozambicans being forcibly repatriated from Malawi in 1987. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Citizens of Malawi do not, in practice, have the ability to 
change their government. All political decisions are made 



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MALAWI 

either directly by the President or those few closely 
associated with him. No opposition political parties or 
movements are permitted. Membership in the Malawi Congress 
Party is not mandatory but is often coerced. Active 
membership is expected of those who aspire to government 
positions (including the Civil Service) or professional 
success outside of government. Party membership is often 
required of school children and of those who seek access to 
government services or entrance to local markets. The annual 
renewal fee is only about 25 cents, but this can be nearly 
half a day's pay for a minimum wage earner. In addition, when 
the President visits an area, financial contributions from 
individuals and businesses are expected. Nearly half the 
population holds at least nominal party membership. 

The party's structure provides for some choice among 
candidates for party, parliamentary, or other offices. For 
example, in the parliamentary elections held in 1987, there 
were several candidates for election in a number of 
constituencies. Nearly one-half of the incumbent Members of 
Parliament were not reelected. All nominees, however, were 
selected by the party and submitted to the President for 
review. Active campaigning was not permitted. The National 
Assembly (Parliament), consisting of both elected and 
appointed members, is mainly concerned with ratifying 
government policy. Its powers are broadly based in law, but 
highly circumscribed in practice. Women may join the party 
and vote. Women hold 10 of the 112 elected seats in 
Parliament. No women hold ministerial level positions. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government does not permit organizations such as the 
International Committee of the Red Cross or Amnesty 
International to conduct human rights investigations in 
Malawi. Nongovernmental organizations devoted to the 
furtherance of human rights are not permitted to exist. 

Expressions of interest in alleged human rights problems by 
outside groups or persons are not welcomed and are usually 
ignored. Few government officials are even willing to discuss 
the subject of human rights. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

While Malawi remains one of the world's least developed 
countries, economic and social needs of ethnic Africans are 
generally met on a nondiscriminatory basis. Asian residents, 
however, have been discriminated against in recent years. For 
instance, Asians, whether Malawian citizens or not, have been 
compelled to transfer ownership of rural shops and trucking 
businesses to ethnic African Malawian citizens, and within 
some urban centers, strict rules governing where Asians may 
own property result in limitations on where they may reside. 

Prior to 1987, persons who held foreign passports could reside 
indefinitely in Malawi. Recent legislation, however, aimed 
primarily at persons of Asian origin, rescinded this 
permission. These changes in the citizenship law, together 
with the Forfeiture Act actions (which have been applied in 
large measure against Asians), have led many in the small 



175 



MALAWI 

Asian community (about 5,000 persons) to question whether they 
have a long-term future in Malawi. 

Women are limited to the roles defined by a traditional 
African society and do not have opportunities equal to those 
of men. As mothers, women enjoy access to the traditional 
health services and to extension programs designed to improve 
women's homemaking abilities. Such programs, while 
beneficial, have failed to recognize the importance of women 
as agricultural producers in the rural sector (roughly 70 
percent of all smallholder farms and over 50 percent of 
subsistence holdings are headed by women) and the potential 
role women can have in the modern sector. Although males 
still have a comparative advantage in terms of educational and 
employment opportunities, the Government has initiated 
programs to begin to rectify existing discrimination. For 
example, a third of the positions in the public education 
system have been reserved for women. Although Malawi's 
traditional tribal leadership structures are primarily 
matrilineal, several small ethnic groups grant fewer rights 
and privileges to women and occasionally continue to practice 
female circumcision. 

Malawi enjoys a considerable degree of ethnolinguistic 
uniformity. The vast majority of the population speaks and/or 
understands Chichewa, which became the national language in 
1968. English is the official language for government and 
business. Malawi's indigenous groups are sufficiently alike 
in culture and social organization to permit relatively easy 
interaction, including intermarriage, social and residential 
intermixture in agricultural settlements, and political 
cooperation alliances. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The minimum working age is 14, though this applies only to the 
relatively small urban wage sector. Less than 15 percent of 
the work force is employed in the formal wage sector. For 
those fortunate enough to hold paid jobs, wages and working 
conditions are generally adequate, and paid holidays and 
safety standards in the workplace are required by law. 
However, enforcement of these standards is limited. Wage 
levels are low--the minimum wage is about 50 cents per day in 
the urban areas--ref lecting the abundance of unskilled labor 
and a government policy to limit the rural-urban income gap 
and hence the rate of migration to the towns. Government 
regulations limit the workweek to 45 hours in the construction 
industry, and 48 hours in other industries. In practice, most 
employees work between 37.5 and 42.5 hours per week over 5 
days . 



176 



MALI 



Mali is a single party state in which effective authority is 
exercised by General Moussa Traore, President of the Republic 
and Secretary General of the Democratic Union of the Malian 
People (UDPM) . President Traore assumed power in 1968 through 
a military-led coup, and the military Government adopted a new 
Constitution in 1974. Since then, under Traore's leadership, 
the military has continued to exercise influence in party and 
civilian affairs but increasingly has turned over day-to-day 
operations to civilians and encouraged civilian participation 
in the country's political life at all levels of society. In 
1987 military officers held approximately 22 percent of cabinet 
portfolios, and 20 percent of the seats in the party's Central 
Executive Bureau. Military officers occupied 4 of the 7 
governorships, 11 of the 46 districts, and an important portion 
of lower-level administrative posts, particularly in the border 
areas . 

Mali maintains an army and air force, and the mission of the 
armed forces is to provide both external and internal security. 
The gendarmerie (paramilitary police) assists in the latter 
effort. There is a presidential guard. Mali has no special 
internal security force. 

With an annual per capita gross national product of $190, Mali 
is among the world's 10 poorest countries. It is landlocked 
and lacks easily exploitable mineral resources. Its economy 
rests on subsistence farming and animal husbandry, both of 
which have been adversely affected by severe droughts in the 
1970's and 1980's. Cotton and cattle are the major exports. 
While its economic situation remains precarious, its population 
continues to increase rapidly. In 1987 the Government 
struggled to implement an economic structural adjustment 
program but remained dependent on external aid. 

The political and human rights situation did not change 
significantly in 1987. Organized political opposition groups 
are not permitted in Mali. However, in the context of 
preparation for the March 1987 extraordinary party congress, 
public party and union meetings provided arenas for citizens 
to criticize government economic reform policies, corruption, 
inefficiency, and acquisition of illicit wealth by government 
officials and private citizens. The President appointed a 
special investigating commission, authorized and endorsed by 
the extraordinary party congress, to delve into corruption 
charges in the Government and business. The commission has 
extensive authority to examine documents and individuals. The 
commission is not a party body, although its members belong to 
the ruling UDPM. It submitted its initial report in November. 
On the basis of that report, a special court examined 47 cases 
against 71 persons accused of embezzling public funds. 

RESPECTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

No politically motivated killings were reported in 1987. 

b. Disappearance 

No incidents of disappearance, abduction, or hostage-taking 
were reported in 1987. 



177 



MALI 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The Government of Mali does not condone police brutality, and 
has issued specific instructions prohibiting brutality against 
suspects. However, physical abuse of suspected persons 
sometimes occurs during police interrogation. Torture is 
rare, but public beatings by the citizenry of persons 
identified as thieves occasionally take place. 

Prison conditions are harsh. Lack of resources results in 
inadequate facilities. Prisoners can be sentenced to hard 
labor, and they sometimes perform road maintenance work 
Several prisons are located in isolated inhospitable northern 
desert regions. 

In its 1987 Report (covering 1986), Amnesty International 
expressed concern about the harsh conditions at Taoudenit 
prison camp. There is no evidence that any political 
prisoners are being held at Taoudenit. Prisoners there have 
been sentenced to hard labor in the local salt mine. Amnesty 
also noted that it had received reports that eight persons, 
who had helped a student leader escape the country in 1986, 
had been held incommunicado by police for 10 weeks. Several 
were reported to have been hung by their hands or feet and 
denied adequate food and medical attention. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

No incident of arbitrary arrests, detention, or exile, was 
reported in 1987. The Malian judicial system is based on the 
French model. Detained persons do not have the right to a 
judicial determination of the legality of their detention, but 
arrests cannot be made without formal charges. However, in 
political cases, the authorities do not always follow this 
practice. For example. Amnesty International received reports 
that six persons arrested in 1986 in connection with alleged 
student opposition to the Government were held for over 5 
months before a formal order authorizing their detention was 
issued. The students were tried, sentenced, and released with 
all the time spent in prison applied to reduction of their 
sentences . 

Malian law does not provide for release on bail, but detainees 
are sometimes released on their own recognizance. Prisoners 
are usually allowed access to a lawyer of their choosing. 
Administrative backlogs cause frequent delays in scheduling 
trials . 

Forced or compulsory labor is prohibited except in cases of 
convicted criminals. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

New laws have been enacted to make the judicial system conform 
to Malian life, but French colonial laws not abrogated still 
have the force of law. The judiciary is not independent but 
rather part of the executive branch. At the apex is the 
Supreme Court with both judicial and administrative powers. 
Trials generally are of short duration. While confessions are 
generally not coerced, in practice defendants usually admit 
guilt in the hope of receiving a more lenient sentence and 
allow their lawyers to argue mitigating circumstances. The 
verdict and sentence are rendered by a panel of three judges. 
Once convicted, redress depends on an appeal for a presidential 



178 



MALI 

pardon or a request for a new trial. The Constitution 
stipulates that the National Assembly can convene a High Court 
of Justice to hear cases against state ministers, but this 
court did not meet in 1987. 

Although the exact number of political prisoners is not known, 
it is believed to be very low. The Government uses its 
Independence Day celebrations as an annual occasion to grant a 
limited number of pardons, including to selected political 
prisoners. In September 1987, presidential pardons were 
granted to five men convicted in 1976 for their role in an 
attempted coup. In its 1987 Report, Amnesty International 
stated that all "prisoners of conscience" had been released by 
the end of 1986. 

Corruption has become a major issue in Malian political life, 
and has been discussed in a number of different public forums. 
In 1987 the President appointed a special commission to 
investigate accusations of corruption in 47 cases against 71 
persons. The commission reported its findings in November, 
and a special court rendered judgments in December. Nine 
persons were sentenced to death, some in absentia, while those 
who repaid embezzled funds were reprimanded or lightly 
sentence. The death sentences have not been carried out and 
may be commuted. While the commission mandate does not limit 
its investigations to government officials, no private 
businessmen have been arrested. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Inviolability of the home is provided for in the Constitution 
and generally respected in practice. Police searches are 
infrequent, and warrants must be issued and recorded. However, 
this occasionally occurs after the fact. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Malian Constitution does not ensure freedom of speech and 
press. The Government controls all Malian media, and all 
journalists are government employees. General public 
questioning of government authority is not permitted. 
However, Criticism of specific programs, aspects of society, 
or the performance of government offices and office-holders is 
permitted. Prior to the 1987 extraordinary party congress, 
the President himself participated in a series of public 
meetings in which charges of corruption were leveled against 
his Government. Academic freedom does not extend to criticism 
of the Government or its policies. Private antigovernment 
Malian publications are not tolerated, but international 
publications, even those critical of Mali and its Government, 
are readily available and circulate freely. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The Malian Constitution assures the liberty of citizens to 
form organizations to protect their "professional interests," 
but, in reality, only selected organizations, such as urban 
professional associations, qualify. Only the women's, youth, 
and labor associations of the UDPM assemble freely. 

The National Union of Malian Workers (UNTM) , composed of 12 
unions, is the only recognized workers' organization. It 



179 



MALI 

maintains contacts with international labor organizations. 
The UNTM claims to maintain a degree of autonomy from the 
Government, and it enjoys limited freedom to criticize some 
government programs. Its Secretary General is a party member 
but is not a member of the party's Central Executive Council. 
Under close government monitoring and guidelines, limited 
collective bargaining is permitted. Strikes seldom occur. 
There were a series of minor strikes by teachers in December 
1986 and again in December 1987 to protest repeated delayed 
payment of government salaries. In contrast to 1986, when 
several strike leaders were arrested, there were no arrests in 
1987. Strikes for political reasons are illegal. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Mali is a secular state. Although 90 percent of Malians are 
Muslim, most other religions may practice their faiths freely 
and are permitted to establish houses of worship as well as 
schools. Christian missionaries of various faiths enjoy 
government cooperation. Proselytizing and conversion are 
permitted, except in the case of the Baha ' i , who may practice 
at home but may not proselytize or establish houses of 
worship . 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Freedom of movement in Mali is generally unimpeded, although 
travelers are sometimes subject to police checks, especially 
at night. These checks are legal and are used as a means to 
restrict the movement of contraband goods. In practice, some 
police probably supplement their frequently delayed salaries 
by assessing ad hoc fines or confiscating goods. Malians are 
free to change residence or workplace. Foreign travel requires 
an exit visa, but this is easy to obtain. Repatriation is not 
restricted. 

During the recent drought years, Mali both accepted and 
generated displaced persons. Several thousand Malians were 
repatriated from Algeria in 1986 and 1987. In 1987 Mali also 
welcomed back over 100 Malians deported from France. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Citizens have limited and infrequent opportunity to influence 
their government and no ability to change it. The military 
role in governing Mali remains important, but civilian 
participation in the leadership groups has been growing. 
Important policies and decisions are made by a small group 
composed of the President, the party's Central Executive 
Bureau, and the Council of Ministers. The memberships of 
these groups overlap. Party congresses, such as the one held 
in March 1987, are called by the President to consider special 
issues. In 1987 the issues included political participation 
and corruption, and the congress adopted a new National Charter 
of National Reorientation of Public Life, calling on Malians 
to dedicate efforts to economic development. One of the 
mandates of the new Charter, and of the newly appointed 
special commission to assist the Secretary General of the 
party, is to recruit new leadership and encourage greater 
public participation in the party, and, by extension, the 
Government . 



180 



MALI 

Within the one-party system, multiple candidates often contest 
party elections at the local level, but for National Assembly 
elections, which are held every 4 years, one carefully 
selected party candidate runs for each seat. The National 
Assembly debates proposed legislation after its acceptance by 
the Council of Ministers and review by the Supreme Court. The 
Assembly's role is to endorse the decisions taken by the 
Council . 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government is generally responsive to calls by recognized 
human rights groups. There are no local organizations to 
monitor human rights. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs handles 
human rights-related inquiries from Amnesty International or 
other international human rights organizations. The Ministry 
of Justice, with jurisdiction over the courts, administers 
Malian law. Mali does not play a major role in international 
human rights forums. 

Section 6 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Virtually all Mali's ethnic groups are represented at the 
highest state and party levels. Although some nomadic groups 
such as the Tuaregs remain outside the economic and political 
mainstream, Mali is relatively free of ethnic tensions. 

Social and cultural factors place men in the dominant position 
in Mali. However, women play an important economic role, both 
in market life and in farming. While under represented, women 
are present at all levels of the Government and in the party. 
Two women are cabinet ministers, and one is in the party's 
Central Executive Bureau. Three are members of the National 
Assembly. Nonetheless, custom tends to restrict women to 
"women's issues" when they participate in politics. The 
women's union focuses primarily on establishing cooperatives, 
improving health programs, fostering education, and campaigning 
against female circumcision, which is still widely practiced. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Mali has a detailed labor code specifying conditions of 
employment, including hours, wages, and social security 
benefits. The minimum wage is approximately $142.50 per 
month. Health and safety standards vary depending upon the 
category of work, but there is limited enforcement due to the 
lack of inspectors. Employers are required to pay into a 
National Social Security Fund. While the minimum age for 
employment is 14, with parents' permission children can be 
apprenticed at 12. In practice, children in rural areas join 
the work force at a much younger age, and workers in the 
informal sector are not protected by laws against unjust 
compensation, excessive hours, and capricious discharge. 



181 



MAURITANIA 



Since 1978 Mauritania has been governed by the Military 
Committee for National Salvation (CMSN) . Colonel Maaouya Ould 
Sid'Ahmed Taya, President of the Committee, is Chief of State. 
He assumed power in 1984 after the bloodless ouster of the 
former President, Lt . Colonel Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla. 
All 18 members of the Military Committee hold ministerial 
portfolios or occupy other key military or government 
positions. The Committee functions as a legislative body, 
whereas the President, assisted by a few close advisers, 
wields the executive power. Political and opposition parties 
are not allowed in Mauritania. The Government uses a quasi- 
political organization, the Structure for the Education of the 
Masses (SEM), to mobilize the people to carry out local 
improvement projects, to relay policy statements, and to serve 
as a channel to discuss grievances. SEMs are found at all 
governmental levels down to villages and neighborhoods. 

The security forces number about 13,000 and, in addition to 
the regular armed forces, include the national guard, the 
gendarmerie (a specialized corps of paramilitary police), and 
the police. The national guard, gendarmerie, and police all 
have internal security functions. 

Mauritania continues to face massive economic and social 
problems: Droughts and desertification, the Western Sahara 
conflict, ethnic tensions, massive unemployment, one of the 
highest per capita debts in Africa, poor infrastructure, 
inadequate health and educational systems, and a mass exodus 
from rural areas. Although adequate rains fell in recent 
years, the prior drought years forced large numbers of nomads 
into towns. This forced migration resulted in urban refugee 
camps, a weakened traditional Maur nomadic culture, and a 
severe strain on government resources. According to one 
report, 20 years ago 85 percent of the population was 
nomadic. In 1987 only 15 percent remained in the desert. 

President Taya has publicly advocated a harmonious, 
multiethnic society; but in 1987, as in 1986, there was 
agitation among Mauritania's Toucouleur black ethnic group, 
who alleged discrimination by the ruling Arab-Berber 
population. In the wake of the 1986 unrest, the Government in 
1986 and 1987 arrested, tried, and sentenced 39 Toucouleurs on 
charges of sedition and threatening national unity. In October 
1987, following the discovery of a coup plot reportedly led by 
Toucouleur military personnel, the Government detained over 
200 Toucouleur, and 51 were charged with sedition, with the 
remainder being released. The 51 received a trial in the 
course of which the Government respected the accepted norms of 
Mauritanian justice. At the end of the trial, the Special 
Court of Justice sentenced 3 defendants to death, 18 to life 
imprisonment, and 17 to lesser sentences. Seven defendants 
were acquitted. The death sentences were carried out 3 days 
later. Following the executions, street clashes broke out for 
several days between groups of Maur and Toucouleur students 
and youths in Nouakchott. The Government briefly detained 
about 100 youths. The Government also detained more than 20 
Toucouleur adults whom it suspected of masterminding some of 
the street disturbances. Many blacks interpreted the 
Government's actions to mean a continued domination by white 
Maurs in all levels of social, economic, and especially 
governmental life. 



182 



MAURITANIA 



RESPECT FOR HU^4AN RIGHTS 



Section 1 



Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom From: 



a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of politically motivated killings. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearances, 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

According to the laws of Mauritania, torture is not allowed. 
There are, however, recurring and credible reports that 
security forces beat suspects to extract confessions. 
Conditions in Mauritanian prisons are generally grim. In 
Rosso, for example, at least two prisoners died of heat 
exhaustion in early 1987 after being forced into overcrowded 
cells. (Following the incident, authorities improved the 
ventilation of the prison's cells.) 

Tcucouleur prisoners arrested in 1986 reported that they were 
initially denied proper medical care and family visits and 
also stated that the food was poor. Family protests and 
intervention by the Mauritanian Human Rights League in 1987 
resulted in written assurances from the Minister of Interior 
that the prisoners would receive regular family visits and 
proper health care. In October 1987, however, prior to the 
coup attempt, sources close to the Toucouleur prisoners 
circulated an open letter in which the Toucouleur inmates 
maintained that they still did not have family visits or 
adequate health care. In the letter, the prisoners also 
reported that they had been tortured during their 
interrogations . 



The Toucouleur military p 
detained immediately afte 
subsequently released wer 
period of detention. App 
mistreated during their s 
Toucouleurs who were trie 
been treated properly dur 
although there are report 
they were first arrested, 
transferred the 44 defend 
on December 3, 1987, as w 
received prison sentences 
unrest, to the remote des 
According to eyewitnesses 
manacles overland by true 
cramped quarters for the 
Most of these prisoners' 
in Tichitt or Oualata, si 
locations in the country. 



ersonnel and civilians who were 

r the foiled 1987 coup plot and 

e denied family visits during their 

arently, however, they were not 

tay in custody. Most of the 51 

d by the Special Court appear to have 

ing arrest, interrogation, and trial, 

s that one or two were beaten when 

In mid-December 1987, the Government 
ants who had been sentenced to prison 
ell as the 39 Toucouleurs who had 

in the wake of the 1986 Toucouleur 
ert towns of Tichitt and Oualata. 
, these prisoners were transported in 
k, having to remain confined in 
duration of the 20- to 30-hour trip, 
families will be unable to visit them 
nee these are among the most remote 



d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Mauritanian law assures expeditious arraignment and trial, 
access to legal counsel, and the right of appeal. In practice, 
however, the Government does not always respect this right. 
In the fall of 1987, the Government dismissed and arrested 



183 



MAURITANIA 

Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamad Salem Ould Lekhal, 
Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy Sidi Ould Cheikh 
Abdellahi, and Central Bank Director Dieng Boubou Farba. The 
Government suspected the three men of collusion with Hmeida 
Bouchraya, one of the country's leading businessmen, in his 
illegal transfer of large sums of money out of the country. 
Reportedly the Government has detained these three former 
government officials in the remote desert tovjn of Ouadane 
since late September, without, however, filing any charges 
against them. 

Based on legislation enacted before the 1978 coup, the 
authorities have the right to detain, without trial or appeal, 
anyone judged to be a threat to national security. Colonel 
Moulaye Ould Boukhreiss was arrested and held incommunicado in 
August 1987 for allegedly conspiring and conducting a 
propaganda campaign against the Government. After 
interrogating him for several weeks, the Government exonerated 
him from any wrongdoing and released him in September. At no 
point during Boukhreiss' arrest was he formally charged. 
Detainees are sometimes confined to their residences; however, 
Mauritania maintains prisons in Nouakchott, Jereida, and 
elsewhere for more serious crimes. 

The Government justified the large-scale arrests and detentions 
of Toucouleurs in 1986 and early 1987 on the grounds of 
national security. Government sources maintained that these 
militants were members of a clandestine subversive group, 
FLAM, which was planning a campaign of terrorism and 
assassination. After the October coup attempt, the Government 
detained more than 200 persons, of whom more than 20 were 
still in custody at the end of 1987 without specific charges 
having been brought against them. Nevertheless, by the end of 
1987 the Government's actions had led to widespread discontent 
in the Toucouleur community. Most Toucouleurs interpret the 
latest arrests as a further sign that the military Government 
will take whatever steps are necessary to thwart the 
aspirations of the non-Maurs, especially in sharing political 
power . 

Internal exile is a method of removing opposition figures from 
the public eye. Former President Haidalla and five of his 
associates, who were arrested during the 1984 coup but never 
formally charged, remain in internal exile in remote locations. 

The subject of forced labor is tied to the vestiges of slavery 
which exist in some areas of the country. Slavery in 
Mauritania was officially abolished in 1980. Nevertheless, 
some persons whose ancestors for generations have worked 
without pay for a particular family still occupy positions of 
servitude in 1987, in part because of the economic hardships 
which they would encounter upon leaving their positions. 

In an effort to eradicate the last vestiges of slavery, the 
Government invited United Nations' assistance, began a mass 
media education campaign which utilizes rural radio and 
television to promote public awareness of the problem, and 
provided small-scale financial assistance to former slaves for 
agricultural and handicraft businesses. The Taya regime 
also made an effort to appoint members of slave castes to high 
government and military positions as a visible indication of 
the end of slavery. 



80-779 0-88-7 



184 



MAURITANIA 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

In September 1986, the Taya Government arrested some 30 
prominent black Toucouleurs, mainly professionals, for 
protesting white Maur domination of the political and economic 
systems. They had circulated a political treatise, "Manifesto 
of the Oppressed Negro-Mauritanian, " in which they articulated 
grievances against Arabization, concerns about the adverse 
effects of recent land reform law by which white Maurs have 
appropriated large tracts of valuable land from their 
traditional black owners, as well as complaints about the 
underrepresentation of blacks in government and the 
undemocratic nature of the Mauritanian Government. In one 
passage the document advocated the use of violence to prevent 
the appropriation by Maurs of land belonging to blacks. 

Twenty-one of the 30 were brought to trial on September 25, 
1986, and charged with spreading falsehoods and hatred, holding 
unauthorized meetings, distributing seditious material, and 
calling for civil disorder. In a trial that lasted 1 day, the 
21 were convicted on all charges. Four received light 
sentences, while 16 were given sentences of 4 to 5 years in 
prison to be followed by 5 to 10 years in internal exile and 
loss of civil rights. Subsequently, in 1987 but prior to the 
October coup attempt, another 18 Toucouleur militants, who had 
been arrested at the time of the 1986 agitation, received 
similar sentences. 

The Toucouleurs hired civilian lawyers for the 1986 trial, but 
the lawyers resigned collectively prior to the trial because 
they had not had time to prepare the cases and, in particular, 
to review the prosecution dossiers. While the court 
subsequently appointed lawyers for the defendants, the entire 
episode raised serious questions about the fairness of the 
trial. Amnesty International in its 1987 Report stated that 
the trial was "marked by serious inadequacies." 

The Taya Government continues to function under the Shari'a 
(Islamic Law), put in place during the Haidalla regime. The 
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs plays the major role 
in administering the Shari'a and selecting judicial personnel. 
The Shari'a applies to most crimes and offenses, with the 
exception of commercial and banking offenses, as well as 
traffic violations. The Taya administration, however, has 
urged the Islamic judges not to use extreme physical 
punishments such as amputations, which occurred during the 
Haidalla regime. The Taya Government inherited a number of 
unqualified Shari'a judges who were appointed during the 
Haidalla years. Judges cannot be tenured before 7 years by 
virtue of a recent government decision. Consequently, the 
Minister of Justice has the power to dismiss them and is 
slowly eliminating unqualified officials. 

One result of the use of Shari'a has been that Western-trained 
lawyers are unable to practice in most cases unless they are 
retrained. Many only work in specialized areas such as 
banking, insurance, and traffic accidents, where Islamic law 
does not apply. 

In September 1987, the Government tried eight "Baathist" 
supporters on charges of unlawful assembly, criminal 
conspiracy, corruption of juveniles, and illegal restraint. 
Despite the state prosecutor's request for stiff sentences for 
the defendants, the court acquitted two and gave the others 
light suspended sentences. Two of those convicted were members 



185 



M AURITANIA 

of the Mauritanian Human Rights League. Many Mauritanians 
hailed this decision as the sign of a fair trial, but some 
observers stated the convictions violated the right of 
assembly. 

On December 3, 1987, the Special Court of Justice sentenced to 
death three of the Toucouleur military officers accused of 
plotting the overthrow of the regime. The sentences were 
carried out shortly thereafter. A number of Mauritanians, 
however, do not believe that these death sentences were 
justified under Mauritanian law. According to the Mauritanian 
legal code, any attempt to overthrow the Government by armed 
force is punishable by death. The Government maintains that 
at the time of the plotters' arrest, approximately half a day 
before the coup was supposed to occur, they had taken specific 
measures, including preparing armored vehicles and placing 
conspirators in strategic locations, that amounted to the 
beginning of the implementation of the takeover. But many 
Mauritanians, including most of the defendants' lawyers, 
dispute this interpretation. In their view, these actions did 
not amount to implementation, and the accused were merely 
guilty of plotting a coup instead of actually conducting a 
coup attempt. In Mauritanian law, simply planning a coup is 
punishable by a prison sentence, not by death. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Government interference in private affairs, except in 
instances where treason is suspected, is limited. Reflecting 
the nomadic penchant for privacy and the sanctity of 
confidences, the lack of sophisticated equipment to undertake 
surveillance, and the isolation of many parts of the country, 
the Government normally limits its surveillance to patrols on 
major highways and customs check points, occasional nighttime 
inspections of vehicular traffic, and inspections of mail 
suspected of containing currency or prohibited items. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Freedom of speech and press is restricted. Many Mauritanians 
criticize government policies in conversations with friends 
and relatives. The Government, nevertheless, is quick to 
react to any comments it thinks pose a threat to the security 
of the State, as evidenced by the 1986 crackdown on Toucouleur 
dissidents. In particular, any expression of racial or ethnic 
tension, or questioning of government legitimacy draws a sharp 
government response. Private discussions within the family or 
tribe are active and used as a vehicle to present dissenting 
views on issues. Moreover, President Taya invites the views 
of traditional local leaders during his visits to the rural 
areas . 

Mauritania's only newspaper and radio and television station 
are government owned and operated. In the past the Government 
has not allowed any criticism of government policies or 
authority. Recently, however, the Government has begun to 
experiment with interview formats by which a government 
official is invited to air views on television with a panel. 
In these broadcasts the authorities have tolerated limited 
criticism of government decisions and policies. International 
newspapers and magazines are readily available, although the . 
Government occasionally censors issues that contain material 



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MAURITANIA 

it considers to be objectionable. The November 1986 edition 
of Jeune Afrique, which contained an article critical of the 
Government's treatment of blacks, was allowed to be sold. The 
populace actively follows shortwave broadcasts and Senegalese 
television. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Freedom of assembly has been suspended since 1978, and meetings 
with political themes are generally prohibited, as in the case 
of the "Baathist" supporters (Section I.e.). The Government 
allowed large but controlled demonstrations and rallies to 
take place in late 1986 during the campaigns for local 
municipal councils. In the wake of the arrests in September 
1986 of the Toucouleur activists, sporadic antigovernment 
protests occurred. The demonstrations were quickly suppressed 
by armed police with the use of tear gas. During the latter 
half of 1986, the Government cracked down on the Toucouleur 
community by banning meetings of black self-help groups and 
cultural organizations and even checking large Toucouleur 
family gatherings such as weddings. In early December, 
following the execution of the three Toucouleurs sentenced by 
the Special Court of Justice, fights broke out in Nouakchott 
high schools and market places between groups of Toucouleur 
and Maur youths. Government security forces broke up these 
disturbances, sometimes detaining those involved for a few 
hours before letting them go. 

Local unions are the only remaining organizations with any 
semblance of political influence following the 1978 coup. 
Labor unions can organize nationally, but they must be 
affiliates of the Mauritania Workers Union (UTM) , by law the 
country's only central labor body. Union officials state that 
the UTM has some 30,000 members. The annual membership fee of 
$4 is imposed on members but, in addition, the Government 
frequently finances UTM operations. The UTM is associated 
with regional and international labor organizations and its 
officials attend many international labor meetings, where they 
are free to air views on labor consistent with Mauritanian 
policy. 

Wages are set through an informal bargaining arrangement 
between individual unions, the employers, the Government, and 
the UTM. Strikes are theoretically possible, although they 
are discouraged by the Government and rarely take place. 
Disputes over labor issues are heard before special 
three-person labor courts which are overseen jointly by the 
Ministries of Justice and Labor. These courts are regarded by 
labor union leadership as unbiased and effective. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Islam is the official religion of Mauritania, and the country's 
official name is the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Virtually 
all citizens are Muslim. Proselytizing by non-Muslims and the 
construction of Christian churches and other non-Islamic houses 
of worship are prohibited without government permission. The 
Roman Catholic community in Mauritania was permitted in several 
instances to build churches which operate freely as long as 
they restrict their services to resident foreigners. 
Mauritanian Muslims are prohibited from entering non-Islamic 
houses of worship and from converting to another religion. 



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d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

There are generally no restrictions on movement within this 
large nomadic country, although travelers are frequently 
subjected to routine police and customs checks along major 
highways and at the country's international and domestic 
airports. Years of drought have caused many nomads to migrate 
to the urban areas, thus increasing the urban populations and 
creating shantytowns. Movement has been controlled in the 
past during emergency situations by imposing curfews, as 
occurred briefly following the 1984 coup. 

The requirement that Mauritanians have an exit visa before 
traveling abroad was ended in 1985. Those political leaders 
who fled the country since the overthrow of the civilian 
Government in 1978 have been invited back, and almost all of 
them have returned. 

As a result of the ongoing conflict in neighboring Western 
Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front, a small number 
of displaced persons from the Western Sahara have entered 
Nouadhibou and other northern towns. There are, however, no 
acknowledged political refugees in Mauritania. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

All political power rests in the hands of the military regime. 
The Military Committee for National Salvation remains the 
"custodian of the nation's sovereignty." All executive and 
legislative functions reside with the Committee. Membership 
is limited to military officers and is automatically conferred 
on incumbents of ministerial positions and important military 
and security posts. Therefore, in practice, citizens of 
Mauritania are unable democratically to change their government 
at the national level. The CMSN is predominantly Maur, 
although several blacks are members. The most prominent black 
on the CMSN lost his position in the wake of the 1986 
Toucouleur unrest. 

A limited move toward increased popular participation in 
government occurred in December 1986 when communal council 
elections took place in Nouakchott and the country's 12 
regional capitals. In most cities, two or more lists of 
candidates competed for the electorate's votes. The 
Government stipulated that each list contain at least 30 
people from various regions, ethnic groups, and tribes. The 
campaigning was vigorous and candidates were allowed to use 
the media to spread their views. Most candidates were Maur 
civil servants, wealthy merchants, or professionals with the 
necessary skills and connections to mount a successful 
campaign. Each candidate was required to deposit the 
equivalent of $570 (10 times the monthly salary of an average 
worker) in order to participate. Black activists complained 
that this factor, and the Government's arrests of black 
activists in September 1986, limited black participation as 
candidates. Despite these shortcomings, during their first 
year of operations the newly elected municipal councils became 
genuine decisionmaking bodies that handled most municipal 
issues with little or no central government interference. 



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Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation ot Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Taya Government is sensitive on the issue of human rights 
and has cooperated with the U.N. Human Rights Commission 
Working Group on Slavery by allowing a representative to come 
to Mauritania to obtain information on this issue. The 
Government has also permitted representatives of Amnesty 
International to visit Nouakchott for discussions on the 
Toucouleur issue. As a result of the President's public 
commitment to an ethnically harmonious society and a return to 
basic human rights, the Mauritanian Human Rights League was 
formed in 1986. The League is staffed by volunteers who work 
within the government framework to address such concerns as 
eradicating the last vestiges of slavery, ensuring the uniform 
application of the Shari'a law, promoting the status of women, 
and preventing abuses such as arbitrary arrest and torture. 
While constrained by a lack of financial resources and careful 
not to antagonize the Government, the League has nonetheless 
insisted that the rights of all persons detained for political 
offenses be respected. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Mauritania is situated geographically and culturally on the 
divide between the nomadic Arabic-speaking Maurs of the north 
and the sedentary blacks of the African south. The interaction 
of these two groups produces the complex cultural diversity 
which fuels ethnic and racial tensions inherent in Mauritanian 
society. Recent movements of nomads to the south as a result 
of the drought have exacerbated tensions, culminating in the 
1986 Toucouleur agitation and the subsequent arrest of 
Toucouleur activists. Historically, and since independence in 
1960, the Arabic-speaking white Maurs have dominated the 
political and economic system. Taken together, however, the 
Arabic-speaking black Maurs and Mauritania's sedentary black 
African groups (Toucouleur, Soninke, and Wolof) constitute a 
clear majority of the population. Many of these blacks 
believe that they are entitled to more political 
representation. The black population is represented at all 
levels of government, but is underrepresented in terms of its 
proportion of the population. Many Toucouleurs also believe 
that white Maur domination in government, state enterprises, 
business, and religious institutions is a result of racial 
discrimination. Their grievances include such isues as 
language (Arabization rather than continued use of French) , 
limitations on educational opportunities, and misapplication 
of the law on land reform. They view the Government's new 
land reform law as a means of allowing wealthy white Maurs 
access to potentially productive tracts of land in 
traditionally Toucouleur areas. The loss by some sedentary 
African blacks of large tracts of land in the Senegal River 
Valley area has resulted in a scramble by Toucouleurs to 
register their land with the appropriate authorities, an alien 
practice for people who traditionally have looked upon land as 
community property. 

Women in conservative, Mauritanian Muslim society are, for the 
most part, limited to traditional roles, especially outside 
the few urban areas. Only half as many women as men avail 
themselves of educational opportunities. Nevertheless, the 
Government is encouraging the participation of women at all 
levels of occupational activity, including in government and 



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MAURITANIA 

business. A woman was recently appointed as Minister of 
Mines, and a number of others have moved into senior or 
midlevel government positions. In addition, the Government 
has been opening up new opportunities for employment in work 
traditionally reserved for men, e.g., certain jobs in 
hospitals. The Government reportedly is considering allowing 
women to serve in the armed forces as support personnel. 
Although few women were on the lists of candidates, large 
numbers of women turned out for the election rallies in 
support of their candidates. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Mauritania has one of the lowest standards of living in the 
world. It has a population of 1.9 million people and an annual 
growth rate of 3 percent. Most of its modern economic 
activities are concentrated in the northern and central regions 
where mining and fishing operations take place. The chief 
economic activities in the South, where the majority of the 
black population is located, are farming and livestock raising. 
Figures for unemployment range from 50 to 90 percent, but do 
not necessarily represent an accurate reflection of labor 
employment . 

Education is not compulsory in Mauritania; however, by law no 
child may be employed before the age of 14 in the agricultural 
sector without the permission of the Minister of Labor and 
National Labor Council, or before the age of 15 in 
nonagricultural sectors. The law provides that employed 
children from 14-16 years should receive 70 percent of the 
minimum wage, and those from 17-18 receive 90 percent of the 
minimum wage. Although there are no figures available, child 
labor (except in the family-owned agriculture sector) is not 
thought to be widespread. 

The guaranteed minimum wage for adults is $70 per month. The 
standard nonagricultural workweek in Mauritania is not to 
exceed 40 hours or 6 days per week without adequate overtime 
compensation which is paid at the following rates: 41st to 
48th hours, 115 percent; 49th to 54th hours, 140 percent; and, 
55th hour and over, 150 percent of the base wage. However, 
information on actual wage levels is scanty and often 
unreliable. Enforcement of the labor laws is the 
responsibility of the Labor Inspectorate, Ministry of Labor, 
but in practice is limited by the shortage of trained 
personnel . 



190 



MAURITIUS 



Mauritius is a small, densely populated island country with a 
functioning parliamentary democracy modeled after that of 
Great Britain. It is governed by a prime minister, council of 
ministers, and legislative assembly. The Governor General, 
with largely ceremonial powers, represents Queen Elizabeth II, 
the titular Head of State. Elections at national and local 
levels take place at regular intervals. There are four major 
political parties, which reflect a wide range of ideological 
views, and several smaller parties. Executive power has 
changed hands twice in the last 6 years through fair and 
orderly elections supervised by an independent commission. 
Municipal elections in 1985 returned the main opposition party 
to power in Mauritius' five largest cities. Prime Minister 
Jugnauth's coalition had its mandate renewed in general 
elections in August 1987. 

Mauritius has no military forces and depends on the 
paramilitary 700-man Special Mobile Force and the 240-man 
Police Riot Unit for internal security. These forces, under 
the command of the Commissioner of Police, are apolitical, 
well trained, and backed by a general duty police force of 
approximately 4,000 men. 

Mauritius has a mixed economy based on sugar production, 
tourism, and textiles, with a strong private sector. In 1987 
the economy continued its recovery, registering an estimated 5 
percent growth rate and creating some 20,000 jobs. Following 
the successful economic adjustment policies of 1982-1986, it 
was not necessary for Mauritius to renew its standby agreement 
with the International Monetary Fund. During 1987 Mauritius 
signed a $60 million structural adjustment loan with the World 
Bank and the African Development Bank. 

Mauritius has a good human rights record. Political and civil 
rights, including the freedoms of speech and press, are 
protected under the Mauritian Constitution and respected in 
practice. The August 30, 1987, elections for Parliament were 
preceded by intense campaigning, including regular public 
rallies. The Dangerous Drugs Act of 1986, which is aimed at 
curtailing drug use and trafficking, has led to large-scale 
arrests, convictions, and controversy over some of its 
provisions . 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of government-inspired political 
ki llings . 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of disappearance of persons for 
political causes. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Torture and inhuman punishment are prohibited by law, and 
there were no reports of degrading treatment or punishment. 
The situation was exacerbated in 1987 by government efforts to 



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MAURITIUS 

cope with increased narcotics trafficking. According to local 
press accounts, over 700 people were arrested during 1987 for 
possessing narcotics substances. Figures are not available 
for the number of those arrested who were subsequently 
imprisoned. The Government is sensitive to prison conditions 
and is publicly committed to their improvement. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

There have been no reports of arbitrary arrests or detentions 
since the early 1970's. Detained persons have the right to a 
judicial determination of the legality of their detention. In 
practice, this determination is usually made within 24 hours. 
Bail is commonly granted. The Supreme Court ruled invalid in 
1986 a section of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1986 which had 
provided for detention without bail for persons arrested under 
Clause 46 (2) of the Act. 

Exile is legally prohibited. The Constitution prohibits any 
form of forced or compulsory labor, and this prohibition is 
respected. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Mauritius' judicial system, modeled on that of Great Britain, 
consists of the Supreme Court, which has appellate powers, and 
a series of lower courts. Final appeal may be made to the 
Queen's Privy Council in the United Kingdom and is routinely 
made in the cases of death sentences. There are no political 
or military courts. The legal system has consistently provided 
fair, public trials to those charged with crimes. Defendants 
have the right to private or court-appointed counsel. The 
judiciary is also charged under the Constitution with ensuring 
that new laws are consistent with democratic practice. 

Commissions of inquiry are frequently established to examine 
various issues of social or political concern. The 
commissions, routinely chaired by distinguished jurists, 
conduct hearings, subpoena witnesses, and present their 
findings to the Government for corrective action when 
wrongdoing has been discovered. Commission proceedings are 
conducted in public and reported fully by the press. The 
findings, however, are conveyed to the Government in 
classified reports that are not routinely made public unless 
or until the Government decides to take action against an 
accused party. The Rault Commission on Narcotics played a key 
role in crystalizing public opinion to sustain a campaign 
against narcotics use and trafficking. 

The Dangerous Drugs Act, which includes a mandatory death 
sentence for any person convicted of importing dangerous 
drugs, has been controversial. In its 1987 Report, Amnesty 
International noted that "unlike other serious offenses under 
Mauritian law, which are tried before a jury of nine citizens, 
the offense of importation under the . . . Act is heard by a 
judge without jury." 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The sanctity of the home is ensured by law and generally 
respected in practice. The search of personal property or 
premises is allowed only under clearly specified conditions by 
court order or by police decision if an illegal act is 
suspected. There have been reports from reliable sources that, 



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MAURITIUS 

the Government's intelligence apparatus occasionally opens 
mail and carries out surveillance of local opposition leaders 
and other major figures. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Freedom of speech and press is protected by the Constitution 
and by local tradition. Sixteen privately owned daily, 
weekly, and monthly newspapers present varying political 
viewpoints and freely express partisan views. Newspapers are 
subject only to the legal constraints of libel laws. The 
Government owns the one television and two radio stations (one 
strictly educational), broadcasting in five languages. The 
television and radio are reasonably objective in news and 
entertainment presentation, although opposition politicians 
occasionally accuse the broadcasting corporation of political 
bias in its news coverage. Television and radio broadcasts 
are also easily received from the nearby island of Reunion (a 
French Department) and are not subject to interference by the 
Government. However, foreign satellite broadcasts or programs 
which are considered "controversial" are subject to approval 
by the Cabinet of Ministers before transmission on local 
television or radio. 

In October 1986, the Legislative Assembly amended the 
Mauritian Constitution with regard to drug traffickers and 
drug trafficking in Mauritius. The legislation increased the 
powers of any commission of inguiry to look into personal 
finances, including bank accounts; provided for fines of 
persons who refuse to testify; provided for fining a bank and 
revoking its license if it refuses to cooperate in a financial 
investigation; and provided for the seizure of all assets of 
convicted drug traffickers who cannot prove that their assets 
were obtained legally. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Mauritians enjoy the right to form associations, including 
political parties, trade unions, and religious organizations. 
Mauritius has a multitude of such private organizations. 
Political, cultural, and religious assemblies are 
commonplace. Although police permission is reguired for 
holding demonstrations and mass meetings, such permission is 
rarely refused. The registered political parties freely held 
large public rallies during the campaign for the August 
general elections. 

Mauritius has an active trade union movement. Almost 300 
unions represent 90,000 workers, more than one-fourth of the 
work force. Unions are free to organize workers in all 
sectors, including the Export Processing Zone (EPZ), which 
employs about 85,000 workers. Unions can press wage demands, 
establish ties to domestic political parties and international 
organizations, and address political issues. Three of the 
five trade union activists who ran in the August general 
elections were elected to the Legislative Assembly on the 
government slate. One leading federation actively supports 
the opposition party. The largest confederation, the 
Mauritian Labor Congress, is a member of the International 
Confederation of Free Trade Unions. In theory, unions have 
the right to strike. However, in labor disputes the Industrial 



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MAURITIUS 

Relations Act requires a prestrike, 21-day cooling-off period 
followed by binding arbitration, which has the effect of 
making most strikes illegal. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

There is no official state religion in Mauritius. Hindus, 
Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and others openly practice, 
teach, and proselytize for their religions without prejudice. 
All religious institutions receive state subsidies in 
proportion to their memberships. There is no state-sanctioned 
discrimination against any ethnic or religious community. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

There are no restrictions on full freedom of movement within 
the country. Foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation are 
also unrestricted. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Mauritius is governed by a freely elected, unicameral 
Legislative Assembly, with executive direction coming from a 
Council of Ministers, currently headed by Prime Minister 
Anerood Jugnauth. The Governor General has the right to 
designate the person charged with forming a new government 
following parliamentary elections or a parliamentary crisis. 
Parliamentary, municipal, and village council elections are 
held at regular intervals. Voting and running for office are 
rights of all citizens 18 years of age and over. In the 
Legislative Assembly, 8 of the 70 members are appointed 
through a complex "best loser" system designed in part to 
ensure that all ethnic groups are adequately represented. The 
governing coalition consists of 3 parties and controls 46 of 
the 70 seats. Political parties often match the ethnicity or 
religion of their candidates to the composition of particular 
electoral constituencies. 

In the August parliamentary elections, 89 percent of the 
553,364 eligible voters cast ballots. Only 9,512 votes 
separated the winning and losing coalitions. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

There have been no known requests by international 
organizations to investigate human rights violations in 
Mauritius. Amnesty International maintains two branches in 
Mauritius. There are several local human rights groups which 
address the internal situation in Mauritius without 
governmental intrusion. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

While there is no evidence of official discrimination against 
any ethnic or religious group, there have been allegations 
that certain groups, including Muslims, are under represented 
in the civil service. 

Women in Mauritius participate in all types of political, 
business, and social activities, and a few hold important 



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MAURITIUS 

positions. Nonetheless, traditional ethnic and religious 
attitudes prevent women from achieving true parity. For 
example, only 5 of 70 Members of Parliament and 1 of 19 
Ministers are women. The Government seeks to improve the 
status of women, and recent amendments to laws ranging from 
emigration to inheritance have removed sex discriminatory 
sections. An interministerial committee, headed by the one 
female Minister, has been active since 1985 in addressing 
remaining discriminatory elements in local laws and 
practices. Nevertheless, discriminatory laws and regulations 
remain, including prohibition against women serving on juries. 

Moreover, the illiteracy rate for women (20 percent in 1983) 
is about twice that of men. While women are highly sought for 
employment in manufacturing plants, they tend to occupy the 
less skilled and lower paid positions and are particularly 
susceptible to layoffs during economic downturns. The average 
industrial salary for women is about 50 percent that of men. 
The Minister for Labor and Industrial Relations, Women's 
Rights, and Family Welfare has indicated, however, that middle 
managem.ent training for women is one of her ministry's 
priorities . 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Conditions of employment in Mauritius, including wage and 
leave conditions, are generally sufficient to provide an 
acceptable standard of living to workers in the agricultural, 
service, and manufacturing sectors. Government, private 
welfare groups, and labor unions serve as watchdogs on 
potential employer abuses. 

A maximum workweek of 45 hours is allowed, and children below 
the age of 14 cannot be legally employed, although scattered 
cases of child labor have been reported. The Government 
mandates minimum wage increases each year based on inflation. 
The current minimum wage for unskilled labor in the Export 
Processing Zone is $9 per week during the first year and $11 
per week thereafter. 

In 1987, effective July 1, the Government awarded a wage 
increase (12-60 percent) in the public service. Salary 
increases (10-15 percent) were also approved for the private 
sector, including the sugar industry and the EPZ . At the same 
time, the Government addressed the issue of overtime work in 
the EPZ due to complaints that EPZ employers imposed long 
hours of overtime on employees--about 10 to 20 hours per week, 
making for a 55- to 65-hour workweek. The revised remuneration 
orders of July 1 stipulated that no employee would be required 
to perform extra hours of work in excess of 10 hours per week, 
except with his or her consent. In addition, new remuneration 
rates for overtime above the regular 45-hour week were 
introduced as follows: (I) for the first 10 hours at one and 
a half times the basic rate per hour, (II) for the next 5 
hours at twice the basic rate per hour, and (III) thereafter 
at three times the basic rate per hour. In addition to wages, 
the Government also increased the social benefits to various 
groups, including old age pensioners, unemployed, widows and 
orphans, and handicapped people. 



195 



MOZAMBIQUE 

Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975 following 
a decade of guerrilla warfare. The Front for the Liberation 
of Mozambique (FRELIMO) , the only party allowed, is the key 
decisionmaking organ and articulates government policies. 
Joaquim Chissano completed his first full year as President of 
Mozambique and Chairman of FRELIMO, following his predecessor's 
death in an airplane crash in October 1986. The Council of 
Ministers is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 
Government. A self-proclaimed nonaligned, nationalist, and 
Marxist-Leninist party, FRELIMO's approach has been 
increasingly pragmatic, aimed at dealing with the economic and 
political realities of catastrophic drought and growing civil 
conflict, which together have uprooted millions of people, 
destroyed much of the economic and social infrastructure, and 
caused widespread civilian casualties. 

The security forces include the military, the People's Forces 
for the Liberation of Mozambique (FPLM) , numbering about 
30,000 soldiers, a People's Militia, and the Mozambican 
National Security Service (SNASP) . Since the late 1970's the 
Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) has waged a guerrilla 
war against the Government, resulting in the death of thousands 
of civilians. RENAMO's strength is estimated at 15,000 to 
20,000 persons, and RENAMO is active in Mozambique's 10 
provinces. Originally the creation of the Rhodesian 
Intelligence Service, it now reportedly receives support from 
South Africa. In 1987 the Government appointed new FPLM 
leadership and sought additional military assistance from the 
international community. Among the outside participants, the 
Soviet Union and its allies, the United Kingdom, Italy, and 
Portugal provide military training and assistance to 
Mozambique, while Zimbabwe has a large military presence, 
ranging from 5,000 to 8,000 troops. In addition, Tanzania has 
about 2,500 troops and Malawi 600 to 1,000 soldiers in 
Mozambique. In September 1987, Mozambique and South Africa 
resumed discussions aimed at reviving the 1984 Nkomati accord, 
which committed them to cease hostile acts against each other 
and to search for ways to increase economic cooperation. 

President Chissano's Government pressed forward in 1987 with 
economic reforms, including rescheduling its $3.2 billion 
debt, drastically devaluing its currency, encouraging the 
private sector, and seeking foreign assistance. In January 
the Government signed agreements with the International 
Monetary Fund and World Bank. At the end of 1987, a major 
international relief effort was underway to help avert the 
danger of famine for 4 to 5 million people. 

The Government in 1987 took steps to improve military justice 
and to allow increased religious freedom. In addition, the 
People's Assembly enacted legislation extending amnesty to 
insurgents v;ho seek reintegration into society and reducing 
sentences for those convicted under security laws. However, 
the overall human rights situation in the country deteriorated 
due mainly to the conflict. Both Mozambican security forces 
and RENAMO reportedly committed serious abuses against 
civilians. However, the line between violence perpetrated by 
RENAMO, undisciplined government forces, and renegade elements 
without political affiliation was sometimes not clear. By the 
end of 1987, over 2 million Mozambicans of a population of 14 
million had fled to more secure areas in the country or to 
neighboring countries. The increased toll on civilians was 
dramatically evident in a series of massacres in the second 



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MOZAMBIQUE 

half of 1987 commencing with the killing of a reported 424 
inhabitants of Homoine in Inhambane Province on July 18. 
Although no group claimed responsibility, circumstantial 
evidence and the credible reports of eyewitness observers 
indicated that these actions probably were perpetrated by 
RENAMO insurgents. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

The continuing war between the Government and RENAMO has led 
to the death of many Mozambicans. Precise figures are 
unavailable, and the two sides exaggerate accusations against 
each other, but the total number of fatalities over the past 
few years is certainly in the thousands. There were no 
reliable reports of politically motivated killings in 1987 
other than those attributable to the conflict between the 
Government and RENAMO. There were no reports of public 
executions . 

b. Disappearance 

There were no confirmed reports of government-perpetrated 
disappearances in 1987. The Government's commitment to the 
prompt notification of relatives and friends of detained 
persons remained suspect, however, and it was often impossible 
to know whether a person had disappeared or was in detention. 
Security forces, operating under security legislation, 
sometimes held detainees incommunicado for extended periods, 
despite the fact that detainees have the legal right to contact 
their relatives and to receive visitors. The Government has 
remained largely unresponsive to international inquiries about 
the welfare of detained persons. 

According to reliable eyewitness reports, RENAMO continued to 
abduct large numbers of rural villagers. Some of the victims 
were released after being required to transport captured 
materials for long distances or to perform other tasks. 
Others were held in rural areas outside of formal government 
control. RENAMO also continued kidnaping foreigners in 1987. 
Six expatriates taken by RENAMO in December 1986 and January 
1987 were held until April 1987. Seven expatriates, including 
one American citizen, were held captive from May 13 until their 
release at the Malawi border on August 18. RENAMO acknowledged 
in June 1987 that it was holding a Portuguese citizen and his 
family and one other foreigner. They are still believed to be 
in RENAMO" s hands, as is a British citizen captured by RENAMO 
in July 1987. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

In the early years after independence, political prisoners at 
remote government-organized "reeducation camps" were brutally 
bound, beaten, and often killed. These camps were used to 
intern political prisoners and "antisocial elements." While 
the Government has publicly referred to one model 
"rehabilitation center" in Inhambane Province, it has claimed 
that all except one of the former reeducation camps have been 
closed. Precise information on the location and nature of any 
reeducation or rehabilitation camps which may exist is not 
aval lable . 



197 



MOZAMBIQUE 

In 1987 the Government launched several campaigns to improve 
discipline and effectiveness within the armed forces, militia, 
and police. Government officials, including President 
Chissano, have publicly stressed that the security forces must 
protect and respect citizens. A major reorganization of the 
military high command was ordered in June, and the military 
justice system is being reformed. The government-influenced 
media have publicized abuses by police and security forces, 
and some responsible officials have been disciplined. For 
example, local officials and an FPLM political commissioner in 
Sofala province were convicted and sentenced for ordering the 
execution of two citizens suspected of witchcraft. In another 
instance, three militiamen were given prison terms varying 
from 4 to 8 years for abuse of power in abduction-rape cases. 

As a result of these steps, most observers believe there were 
fewer instances of torture in 1987. Nevertheless, there 
continued to be reports of capricious and cruel treatment by 
some members of the security and defense forces. In addition, 
the Government continued the practice of flogging (for example, 
as punishment for economic crimes), particularly in rural areas 
where incarceration is difficult. Ministry of Justice 
officials have publicly condemned excessive and illegal 
floggings . 

RENAMO reportedly has tortured, maimed, and mistreated both 
military prisoners and civilians. Numerous eyewitnesses have 
confirmed these reports, referring to RENAMO mutilations of 
civilians believed to sympathize with the Government by cutting 
off noses, ears, and lips. Thousands of Mozambicans, including 
children, are reported to have undergone such disfigurement. 
In some instances, abducted villagers have reportedly been 
compelled to watch as civilians who attempted to escape or who 
had otherwise offended against the harsh regime in RENAMO 
camps were slowly hacked to death with machetes. 

Prisons in Mozambique are generally marked by inadequate food, 
hygiene, and medical care. The Government has sought foreign 
and local assistance to improve prison conditions. The 
Mozambican Red Cross is now assisting the Government to 
improve prison conditions. 

In general, there is no information about the Government's 
treatment of RENAMO prisoners, but Amnesty International's 
1987 Report noted that in 1986 some RENAMO prisoners were 
known to be in the custody of SNASP, living in harsh conditions 
and with insufficient water and exercise. Reportedly, there 
are several reeducation centers for selected RENAMO prisoners, 
including a prison in Inhambane where they receive training in 
various skills to prepare them for "reintegration" into 
society. The length of detention of such prisoners may be 
indefinite. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Since 1979 two separate legal systems have existed. One is 
the regular civil/criminal system composed of the judiciary 
(courts) and a police force under the authority of the 
Ministry of Interior. The other, characterized as 
transitional, is the military-run state security system which 
incorporates the Ministry of National Security (SNASP) . The 
latter system, established to deal with the growing armed 
insurgency, has jurisdiction over both political and economic 
(sabotage) crimes against the State. These two systems 
operate separately and are subject to separate controls. 



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Under the state security system, all investigations and 
arrests are carried out by SNASP. Detainees may be held 
indefinitely, often incommunicado, without formal charges. 
They do not have the right to challenge the legality of their 
detention. SNASP has the power to conduct pretrial inquiries 
without reference to a judge. Amnesty International has 
recommended that SNASP' s power to detain persons be drastically 
reduced because such unlimited authority invites abuse. 

There are no reliable estimates of the numbers of persons 
detained for political reasons. Amnesty International 
estimated that there were approximately 4,000 to 5,000 RENAMO 
detainees, a figure the Government publicly acknowledged. 
Neither the Government nor RENAMO have agreed to allow the 
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit 
detainees . 

Under the regular civil/criminal court system, persons accused 
of the most serious crimes can be detained up to 84 days 
without investigation. With court approval, such detainees 
can then be held for two additional periods of 84 days while 
the police complete their investigation. While being detained, 
individuals have the right to counsel and to contact relatives 
or friends. In some cases, detainees may be released from 
prison while the investigation proceeds, but the bail system 
in Mozambique remains ill-defined. The law stipulates that if 
the prescribed period for investigation has been completed and 
no charges have been brought, the detainee must be released. 
In practice, these procedures are not always followed, and 
legal counsel is frequently not available. However, the 
Government is making efforts to improve the administration of 
justice and due process; in 1987 it began training 25 public 
defenders to handle cases before the Mozambican courts. 

In 1985 as part of the "offensive for legality," the 
Government set up a judicial inspectorate to help supervise 
the administration of courts and prisons. During 1987 the 
Ministry of Justice continued its effort to ensure that 
detainees held by police were afforded access to government- 
provided legal assistance. The Ministry of Justice also 
launched programs to publicize basic laws and rights of 
defendants, families, and children and to conduct seminars on 
human rights throughout the country. 

During 1987 there were no reports of anyone being exiled from 
Mozambique (see also Section 2.d.). As far as is known, 
compulsory labor is not practiced by the Government. RENAMO 
reportedly makes extensive use of captive labor to carry 
supplies and to perform other support functions. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The modern judicial system is based on Portuguese civil law. 
There are a series of People's Courts at the district and 
provincial levels, and a Superior Court of Appeals in Maputo. 
Nonpolitical trials conducted by the regular civil/criminal 
court system are generally fair and are held in public. 

At the local level, there are also customary courts. Trials 
are often conducted in a public place in the village where the 
crime was allegedly committed in order to encourage public 
attendance and participation. The proceedings are conducted 
by a trained representative of the Ministry of Justice, 
assisted by two or four popularly elected "judges." Since the 
legal knowledge of those involved is limited, they are 



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instructed to exercise common sense and to apply locally 
accepted principles. 

These traditional or customary courts can handle only minor 
offenses; more serious crimes are tried in the people's courts 
at the district and provincial levels. District and 
provincial trials are also open to the public. In certain 
cases, such as rape, the defendant can request a closed 
trial. Persons convicted of a serious crime have the 
automatic right of appeal to the next higher court. 
Inspections of the judiciary process in several provinces 
during 1987 were reported by the media, and efforts were made 
to give defendants speedier access to trial. 

Prisoners charged with crimes against the State are tried by 
the Revolutionary Military Tribunal and are denied most due 
process rights. Trials are held in camera, and there is no 
appeal. Defendants are generally not informed of the precise 
charges against them and are not permitted to call witnesses 
for their defense. In 1987 the People's Assembly approved the 
country's first military crimes law and a military tribunal 
law. The military crimes law will take force in July 1988 to 
allow time for organization of the military tribunals. The 
military crimes law can be applied to military personnel and 
civilians alike. It defines a military crime as "any socially 
dangerous action or omission which affects military ethics and 
discipline, or that endangers, prejudices, or disturbs combat 
capacity or military security, and which is covered in 
existing military law." Penalties range from 30 days' 
imprisonment to death. 

In 1987 the People's Assembly passed legislation authorizing 
pardons and amnesty for about 1,500 convicts, and the media 
carried stories regarding the release of some of these 
persons. In March the media reported that 380 prisoners were 
granted clemency in Sofala province and 40 in Inhambane 
province. In December 1987, President Chissano proposed, and 
the People's Assembly approved, two important laws on amnesty 
and pardon. The first gives amnesty to insurgents who turn 
themselves in to local authorities and seek reintegration into 
society. The second shortens the sentences of persons 
convicted of crimes under the 1979 security legislation. 
Government officials have said that in connection with these 
two new laws, efforts would be made to speed the processing of 
persons who have been held for extended periods without being 
tried. The pardon law specifically states that time spent in 
detention prior to trial will count toward sentence reduction 
if the detainee is eventually convicted of a crime. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The party apparatus is used to monitor daily life. In areas 
of active insurgency, homes are entered at will by security or 
police forces. It is widely assumed that surveillance devices 
are employed to monitor the local and international 
telecommunications systems. There have also been reports of 
tampering with mail, especially mail from abroad. Regular 
foreign broadcasts are received without interference, and 
there is no restriction on listening to them. The Governmenc 
does not generally interfere with family affairs such as 
marriage or the rearing of children. 



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MOZAMBIQUE 

g. Violations of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts 

Both government forces and RENAMO have been responsible for 
the death of civilians in the course of the conflict between 
them. Strong circumstantial evidence suggests that RENAMO was 
responsible for a series of massacres of civilians in southern 
Mozambique and the eastern fringes of Zimbabwe during the 
second half of 1987. The most brutal attack occurred on July 
18 at Homoine in Inhambane Province, in which 424 civilians 
were killed, according to the Government. An American 
eyewitness saw the attackers shoot and kill a group of women 
and children and reported that other victims had been killed 
with machetes and bayonets. Similar attacks occurred in 
Manjacaze on August 10 in Gaza Province in which the 
Government said 93 civilians were killed; at a Methodist 
mission station in Cambine, where church sources report 15 
were killed; and Michafutene in Maputo Province, where the 
Government said 27 persons were killed. Expatriate missionary 
personnel working in these areas stated that other attacks of 
this sort occurred in Gaza and Inhambane provinces. In 
addition, the Government stated that more than 300 persons 
were killed in two separate attacks on convoys near Taninga in 
Maputo province in October 1987. Foreign diplomats who 
visited the site shortly after the second attack saw more than 
90 burned out vehicles, including trucks carrying food aid, 
and passengers' belongings strewn along the highway. RENAMO 
spokesmen acknowledged carrying out attacks in southern 
Mozambique but denied attacking civilians. 

On November 5, the Government appealed to the international 
community for assistance in treating 30 children (ages 5 to 
16) whom it said it had brought to Maputo from RENAMO camps 
destroyed by government forces. The children had reportedly 
been abducted by RENAMO and trained to participate in its 
attacks. Several children had been mutilated. 

The Government publicly rejects negotiations and continues 
aggressive efforts to combat RENAMO. There have been 
unconfirmed reports that errant Mozambican troops and militia 
rob vehicles on highways and sometimes kill passengers to 
prevent identification. Civilian casualties may have occurred 
during large-scale operations by government troops in the 
central provinces, which sometimes included bombing raids. 
RENAMO claimed that 50 civilians were killed during a bombing 
raid by Zimbabwean forces in Sofala province in December. 
Amnesty International has received reports of killings and 
mutilations of captives by both government and opposition 
forces. The Catholic bishops of Mozambique publicly decried 
the violence perpetrated against the civilian population by 
both sides and called for dialog and national reconciliation. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Freedoms of speech and press are circumscribed. However, in 
1987 the Government exhibited greater tolerance for public 
criticism of government policies and officials. The President 
held a series of "town meetings" in half of the country's 
provinces in early 1987. He heard numerous criticisms of 
officials and official policies at each stop. Subsequently, 
he announced that ombudsmen offices would be established in 
the provinces for citizens to register their complaints 
without fear of retribution. Offices have already been 
established in at least two provinces. 



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MOZAMBIQUE 

The Government exerts control, either directly or indirectly, 
over all authorized media in the country, ranging from the 
radio and experimental television facilities to the nominally 
independent daily Noticias. Some foreign publications, 
including independent Western newsmagazines, are available in 
bookstores. The Mozambican media promote the Government's 
general philosophy and its positions on issues. There is, 
however, controlled reporting on abuses within the system or 
flaws in the implementation of government policies in those 
areas where the Government has admitted to errors or wishes to 
initiate changes. For example, in Nampula province, the 
Government established a commission of inquiry to investigate 
allegations of local reports of torture which first appeared 
in Noticias. Magazines and newspapers frequently contain 
articles or letters to the editor complaining about the lack 
of goods or social services or the ineffectiveness of a 
particular official. 

Western journalists (including Americans) are welcome in 
Mozambique, and the Government generally works to make their 
visits productive. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Political opposition to the Government is not permitted. 
Public meetings other than purely social or recreational 
gatherings are controlled by the local authorities. The 
Government has organized several "mass movements" for groups 
such as women, youth, and workers and utilizes them to 
motivate and to receive feedback from the general population. 
There are also several professional associations, such as the 
Mozambican Writers' Organization, which are linked to the 
party. Although membership in these organizations is 
theoretically voluntary, the party occasionally exerts 
pressure to join. 

The formation of independent labor unions is not permitted, 
and strikes are forbidden. In 1983 the Government established 
the Mozambique Workers* Organization which was intended to 
function as a national labor union under party guidance. The 
Organization has little influence on economic policy or 
politics, but the number of party-controlled unions under this 
umbrella organization was expanded during 1987. There were a 
number of exchanges of delegations in the labor field with 
other countries, most often with Eastern European countries, 
but occasionally with Western nations. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion and 
separation of church and state. In the past, the Government 
restricted religious activities, reserving the right to decide 
whether individual church buildings could be utilized, and it 
nationalized church schools and hospitals. However, the 
improvement in church/state relations, which began several 
years ago, continued in 1987, and organized religions 
generally operated without official harassment. A number of 
religious delegations visited Mozambique during the year, and 
the Government and the Vatican discussed further means of 
improving relations between church and state. Also in 1987, 
2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses who had been deported or exiled by 
the Government in 1976 were allowed to return home. A pastoral 
letter issued by the Catholic bishops in May calling for dialog 
and national reconciliation to end the conflict was attacked 
in the government-influenced media, but the Government did not 



202 



MOZAMBIQUE 

block the reading of the letter from pulpits or its 
circulation. The government-influenced media have publicized 
various aspects of Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim 
humanitarian relief efforts. 

Although the Government reserves the right to decide whether 
individual clergy can visit outlying areas, it usually allows 
such travel in connection with pastoral duties. Most churches 
have been allowed to reopen, and services are well attended. 
The Muslim community has established a national organization, 
resumed religious training, reopened mosques, and sent groups 
on pilgrimages to Mecca. Party members are not formally 
prohibited from membership in a church or mosque, although 
such membership is discouraged. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Travel and relocation within the country are controlled by 
security and employment requirements under the rationale of 
assuring public and social order. Ambushes by insurgents make 
road travel hazardous throughout the country. Mozambicans 
planning to travel outside their district must obtain a travel 
permit from local government authorities. In practice, this 
system is not always enforced, especially with regard to 
travel within the general vicinity of one's residence. 

Mozambican law does not address the issue of emigration, but 
in practice Mozambicans can emigrate if they wish. In recent 
years, over 2 million persons have been dislocated within 
Mozambique, and more than 750,000 persons have fled across 
borders to neighboring countries as refugees or displaced 
persons due to the intensification of the conflict and 
famine. The Government cooperates with the United Nations 
High Commissioner for Refugees and is committed to resettling 
these refugees when security conditions permit their 
repatriation. The Government has publicly and privately made 
clear its opposition to forced repatriation, but in June some 
9,000 Mozambicans were forcibly repatriated from Zimbabwe at 
the unilateral initiative of the Government of Zimbabwe. 
Moreover, it is not clear, because of security conditions, 
that repatriates would be free to return to their home areas. 

Since 1981 the Government has had a policy of welcoming back 
Mozambicans who left the country, and President Chissano 
specifically invited Mozambicans who have been living abroad 
for economic or political reasons to return. In the past, 
some Mozambicans who had opposed the party before independence 
were jailed upon their return to Mozambique. Such imprisonment 
remains a possibility, but Mozambicans who since 1986 have 
accepted the Government's invitation to return apparently have 
not suffered harassment or retribution. Supporters of the 
insurgency or outspoken critics of the Government generally 
have opted not to return to Mozambique. 

A 1982 law allowed for the reacquisition of citizenship by 
Mozambicans who left the country and assumed another 
nationality. In December the People's Assembly enacted a 
nationality law restoring Mozambican citizenship to women who 
lost it through marriage to foreigners. 

Since independence, the Government readily provided asylum to 
refugees from neighboring countries. Because of the difficult 
conditions within Mozambique, there were only an estimated 500 
refugees in the country at the end of 1987. Most refugees in 



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MOZAMBIQUE 

Mozambique are from South Africa and Chile. Since signing the 
Nkomati Accord in 1984, the Government has restricted entry of 
members and supporters of the African National Congress. 
Despite poor economic conditions and civil war, the Government 
continues to assist refugees by providing land, housing, relief 
assistance, social services and, in some cases, employment. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Citizens are not free to change their Government: no organized 
political opposition is allowed. The FRELIMO party and the 
Government are controlled by a small cadre of senior officials 
in the Politburo, but there is scope for political 
participation for those who are not party members. Some 
government ministers are not members of the party. The 
legislature, the People's Assembly, serves to ratify 
legislation prepared by the government party. Its votes 
usually are unanimous. However, the Assembly held spirited 
discussions in 1987 and revised several reports presented to 
the second session. The Assembly normally convenes twice a 
year for 1-week sessions. The Constitution is being revised 
under party and government supervision, reportedly with the 
objective of increasing political participation within the 
one-party structure. 

The party and Government espouse a system of "people's 
democracy" whereby decisions theoretically are made by 
consensus: in practice, this means that policies and 
initiatives emanate from above. The electoral process is 
closely controlled by the party. The first national elections 
since 1977 for People's Assemblies at the local, district, 
provincial, and national levels were held in 1986. The party 
drew up single slates of candidates for the elections, and 
party structures reviewed these slates with the local 
population prior to the election. Voters had some degree of 
choice since there were, by law, 20 percent more candidates 
than seats available in the various assemblies. Some members 
of the provincial and district People's Assemblies are not 
party members, and at least 15 members of the national 
People's Assembly do not belong to the party. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government's attitude regarding such outside investigation 
has been mixed. The Government has discussed the status of 
RENAMO prisoners with international relief organizations, 
including the ICRC, but it does not permit, as yet, ICRC 
access to political detainees. RENAMO categorically refuses 
to allow ICRC visitations to prisoners. The Government did 
not respond to inquiries and recommendations by Amnesty 
International to strengthen controls against torture and to 
limit the right of security forces to hold detainees for 
unlimited periods without charge. In some cases, however, the 
Government has responded to inquiries on specific detainees' 
cases, and it has reportedly responded positively to some 
allegations of torture by establishing a provincial commission 
of inquiry and dismissing a military officer. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

In spite of the strains imposed by the conflict and the 
economic collapse, racial harmony remains a hallmark of 



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MOZAMBIQUE 



Mozambican society. While the majority of the FRELIMO 
leadership are members of the southern-based Shangaan tribe, 
within the black population of Mozambique the individual 
ethnic groups are treated fairly by the Government. RENAMO 
has sought to obtain support by exploiting historically based 
intertribal antipathies, especially in the central and 
northern part of the country. As a result of the greater 
educational opportunities which were available to ethnic 
Asians and whites prior to independence, they hold important 
positions in numbers much greater than their proportion of the 
general population. 

Women have, in theory, equal rights under Mozambique's 
Constitution, and, with government support, are increasingly 
prominent in government positions, particularly at the working 
levels. The Government is continuing efforts to improve the 
legal status of women. For example, a main purpose of the 
nationality law passed by the People's Assembly in December 
1987 was to give women equal rights in this important area, by 
allowing women who marry foreigners, and their children, to 
retain Mozambican nationality. The Organization of Mozambican 
Women is the party's mass organization that aims to assist 
women as, for example, in helping to establish day-care 
centers. However, in a largely rural society, the reality is 
that the vast majority of women are still bound to traditional 
roles, such as childbearing and tilling the fields. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Most of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture 
and is outside much of the wage economy and government 
regulations concerning working conditions. In the small 
modern sector, the Government has enacted health and 
environmental laws to protect workers. On occasion, the 
Government has closed down firms for noncompliance of these 
laws, but enforcement is limited and difficult in the current 
economic situation. Legislation containing job-related 
safeguards for pregnant women and new mothers provides for the 
right to 60 days' maternity leave. If firms have day-care 
facilities, women reportedly have the right to two half-hour 
breaks daily for a year to feed their children. Child labor 
is also controlled, and the minimum working age (excluding 
agriculture) is 16. The Government sets wage rates. As part 
of the economic reform program, after currency devaluations 
totaling almost 1,000 percent, the Government increased wages 
by 50 to 90 percent, but wages are still woefully inadequate, 
given the high rate of inflation and price rises that are part 
of the economic reform process. The minimum wage is 
approximately $28 per month. 

Until recently labor law in Mozambique placed extensive 
restrictions on employers' control over their employees. 
However, the Government has enacted a comprehensive 
labor law that increases the autonomy of employers. Among 
other things, it allows both public and private firms to fire 
employees without obtaining governmental permission. Companies 
may now also reward their best workers with bonuses and 
penalize less productive employees. 



205 



NAMIBIA 



Namibia is a political anomaly, and its unique status 
significantly affects the human rights situation in the 
territory. Formerly German South West Africa, Namibia has 
been ruled by the Republic of South Africa since 1915. The 
United Nations lifted South Africa's 1920 League of Nations 
mandate in 1966. However, South Africa refused to relinquish 
the territory and ignored a 1971 advisory opinion of the 
International Court of Justice upholding U.N. authority over 
Namibia and calling for South Africa's immediate withdrawal. 
Although the South African Government's representative in 
Windhoek, the Administrator General, continues to "administer" 
Namibia, South Africa over the years has created several 
structures to which it has devolved some autonomy over internal 
affairs. (South Africa retains direct responsibility for 
foreign affairs, defense, and the territory's constitutional 
status.) The most recent structure created, the Transitional 
Government of National Unity (TG) , has been serving since June 
1985. A number of political groups refused to join the TG, 
including the South West African People's Organization (SWAPO), 
the largest and most important group opposing South Africa and 
the TG. The international community does not recognize the TG 
and holds the South African Government responsible for the 
actions of the Namibian authorities. 

In 1978 the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the 
Federal Republic of Germany, and Canada drafted a proposal for 
Namibian independence agreed to in talks with South Africa, 
SWAPO, and the neighboring states (known as the "Front Line 
States"). This proposal was adopted by the United Nations 
Security Council as UNSCR 435. It calls for a cease-fire, the 
phased withdrawal of South African forces, and free elections 
under U.N. supervision. South Africa has said it will 
implement UNSCR 435 only with a satisfactory commitment by the 
Angolan Government on the parallel withdrawal of Cuban troops 
from Angola. The United States, Angola, and South Africa have 
held periodic talks on a timetable for Cuban troop withdrawal 
and, in past years, the Angolan and South African Governments 
have made formal proposals on the numbers and timing of that 
withdrawal. The United States held talks with Angolan 
officials in April, July, and September 1987 on this issue. 

Meanwhile, Namibia continues to experience low-level guerrilla 
conflict with insurgents of SWAPO's military branch, the 
People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), fighting the South 
African Defense Forces (SADF), and Namibia's South-West Africa 
Territorial Force (SWATF). SWAPO draws its strength 
principally from within the Ovambo tribe. The bulk of the 
insurgency and counter insurgency effort occurs in the north in 
Ovamboland and Kavango, but violence erupts sporadically 
throughout the country. Guerrilla activity by PLAN diminished 
in 1987 in the face of effective South African operations. 
SWAPO, whose external political and military wings are based 
in Luanda, Angola, also has a political wing which is allowed 
to operate inside Namibia. 

Some 60 percent of the population of 1.3 million lives by 
subsistence agriculture. The modern economy relies on mining 
(which employs at least 10 percent of the work force), fishing, 
ranching, and food processing. Gross domestic product grew by 
3.5 percent in 1986 and was expected to grow by about 2.5 
percent in 1987, according to government statistics. However, 
the relative lack of diversification in the economy has 
produced uneven growth. Economic conditions are particularly 



206 



NAMIBIA 

severe in the north. Overall the Transitional Government 
estimated unemployment to be 15 percent in 1986. 

In 1987, as over the past 20 years, most reports of human 
rights violations by government authorities or SWAPO involved 
actions taken in the "operational area" in northern Namibia 
(where over half of the territory's population lives) and 
during South African raids into southern Angola. Arbitrary 
government detention without access to counsel or visits by 
family members as well as other restrictions, e.g., on freedom 
of assembly, continued. During 1987 the TG ' s Constitutional 
Council grappled with the drafting of a constitution. A 
majority of the Council's members accepted a draft that would 
effectively end ethnic-based government, but the South African 
Government said the draft did not provide adequate guarantees 
for group or minority rights. In a move interpreted by some 
as a sign of displeasure over the majority draft constitution, 
the South African Government cut its subsidy to Namibia by 
$100 million. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

Namibia remains an arena of guerrilla conflict, and in the 
course of operations there are periodic reports of politically 
motivated attacks and killing by both government security 
forces and SWAPO (see Section l.g.). The SADF/SWATF claim 
SWAPO guerrillas have murdered some civilians of the dominant 
Ovambo tribe in the northern operational area, allegedly to 
intimidate others into supporting SWAPO or at least refraining 
from helping the security forces. 

There are regular and numerous reports of abuses, including 
killings, by an internal police counter insurgency force 
formerly known as "Koevoet" ("Crowbar"), and now known as 
"Coin" (short for "counterinsurgency" ) . In the most prominent 
case, six security force members were charged in September 
with murder in the killing of SWAPO member Immanuel Shifidi 
during a SWAPO rally in November 1986. The trial was 
continuing at the end of 1987. 

b. Disappearance 

Under security legislation, security forces need not notify 
anyone when a person is detained, and they often hold 
detainees inconununicado for extended periods of time. As a 
result, some Namibians have "disappeared" only to turn up 
later in detention cells. As in previous years, there were 
reports in 1987 that security force officials failed to 
respond to requests from family members for information. In 
such cases, legal counsel sometimes has to petition the courts 
to obtain information on suspected detainees. Amnesty 
International (AI), in its 1987 Report (covering 1986), noted 
that the van Dyck Commission (see Section I.e.) had determined 
that the security police had not kept records on detainees 
under security law AG-9 . AI stressed that this failure to 
keep records may explain why in previous years the authorities 
were unable to account for people whose relatives believed 
they had been detained. 



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NAMIBIA 

In 1987 there was a continuing controversy over what has 
happened to approximately 100 SWAPO members. One Namibian 
group, the Parents Committee, and the International Society 
for Human Rights claimed that SWAPO had itself killed several 
of these persons and was holding the remainder against their 
will. SWAPO claimed that the persons concerned were "spies" 
and were being held in camps in Angola and Zambia. These 
"disappearances" also may be related to the SWATF claims that 
SWAPO kidnaps civilians, particularly young people, to gain 
recruits. SWATF claimed in June that SWAPO had abducted 89 
people, including 73 children, in the previous 2 weeks. Eight 
of the 73 children reportedly "escaped." SWAPO consistently 
has denied claims of kidnaping, saying that its recruits come 
voluntarily. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Allegations of abuses by security forces, particularly 
Koevoet, continued in 1987. As in earlier years, political 
leaders, clergymen, and others regularly made detailed 
allegations that the police and security forces engaged in 
brutal treatment, including severe beatings, of civilians, 
primarily in northern Namibia, in and out of detention. Some 
of these allegations have been confirmed, either through 
admissions by security force personnel or through 
investigations. The Transitional Government's Minister of 
Justice stated publicly that the TG should not be held 
responsible for police or Defense Force atrocities, as it does 
not control these forces. 

The authorities have investigated some, but not all, cases of 
alleged misbehavior by security forces. In a few cases, 
investigations were spurred by defense attorneys' threats to 
institute what are known as "private prosecutions" of security 
officials. In a 1987 case, a South African police captain, 
Pat King, stood trial for the torture of several Ovambo 
citizens and the killing of one of them, Johannes Kakuva, in 
1980. King was acquitted in December 1987. In another case, 
a Koevoet captain admitted during a trial of eight suspected 
SWAPO insurgents that he had beaten one of the accused in 
order to force a confession. The confession was excluded as 
evidence, but the victim nevertheless was convicted of 
terrorism. Upon the judge's recommendation, two officers 
involved in the interrogation of Johnny Heita and seven others 
were investigated for their conduct. However, the Government 
decided in November not to prosecute. The SADF has stated 
that during 1985 and 1986, 29 SADF members were tried, 
convicted, and sentenced in the Windhoek Supreme Court to 
terms ranging up to 22 years in prison. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The Government employs three pieces of security legislation 
granting broad powers of detention. In contrast to previous 
years, in 1987 the Government relied primarily on Section 6 of 
the Terrorism Act of 1967 to detain suspected insurgents or 
SWAPO sympathizers. This Act, repealed in South Africa but 
continuing in force in Namibia, is the harshest of the three 
laws, allowing for indefinite incommunicado detention without 
review. Under the Act, the detainee frequently is held in 
solitary confinement and does not have access to counsel, his 
own physician, family, or friends. He does, however, have 
access to government-appointed doctors and magistrates. The 
other two laws, enacted by proclamations of the Administrator 



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General and also providing for detention without trial, are 
known as AG-9 and AG-26. The former, which heretofore 
constituted the legal basis for most detentions, allows for 
access to counsel only after 30 days; the latter allows for 
early access. 

It is not certain how many people were in detention during 
1987. In a response to a parliamentary question in June, 
South African President Botha stated that there were a total 
of 10 Namibians in detention without trial under the three 
security laws; 9 under the Terrorism Act. But the TG ' s 
Minister of Justice said in May that several people were being 
detained under AG-26. 

In the most important detention case, the police detained six 
SWAPO m.embers and trade unionists, five on August 18 and one 
on August 26, ostensibly under the Terrorism Act. They were 
Dan Tjongarero, Nico Bessinger, Hendrik Witbooi, Anton 
Lubowski, John Pandeni and, later, Ben Ulenga. The police 
claimed that they were being detained in connection with 
SWAPO" s July bombing of a Windhoek parking garage. However, 
the Windhoek Supreme Court ordered the release of the six on 
September 11 and criticized the Government for continued 
recourse to the Terrorism Act, describing it as "draconian." 
Although courts cannot review detentions under the Terrorism 
Act, the Court released the detainees because the police had 
improperly invoked the Act. 

Some of the same SWAPO members and trade unionists had been 
arrested earlier in the year under AG-9, and SWAPO's Secretary 
for Labor was detained under the same decree in October. In 
at least three instances people were initially detained under 
AG-9 but later held under the more restrictive Terrorism Act. 

There were no legal challenges to the constitutionality of 
security legislation in 1987, as there had been in 1985 and 
1986, and all the security provisions remain in force. 
Although the TG ' s own "Bill of Fundamental Rights" stipulates 
that "no one shall be detained for an indefinite period of 
time without a fair and proper trial by a court," the uncertain 
status of the TG and continuing rule by South Africa prevented 
this right from being respected fully. The South African 
State President issued Proclamation 157 of 1986, which stated 
that no court would be competent "to inquire into or pronounce 
upon the validity" of any act passed by the South African 
Parliament before or after the formation of the TG . Since the 
TG has not won approval from South Africa to apply a new 
constitution, the Appeals Court in South Africa (the highest 
court for Namibian legal matters) ruled that no law in force 
before the institution of the Bill of Rights (June 1985) was 
subject to the Bill's provisions. 

There is no forced labor in Namibia. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The judiciary (Supreme Court, magistrate courts) is independent 
of the executive (TG) , but its authority is limited by TG and 
South African legislation and subject to appellate review by 
the South African Court of Appeals in Bloemf ontein. The 
Namibian judicial structure comprises two overlapping systems-- 
one for whites, westernized blacks, and coloreds, and another 
for the indigenous African people. In 1919 Roman-Dutch law 
was declared the common law of the territory. 



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Most trials are held in public, and the defendants have a 
right to counsel. Those who are brought to trial generally 
receive a fair hearing based on the legal merits of their 
case, and there is a right of appeal. 

There was no further action on the van Dyck Commission report, 
issued in October 1986, which proposed revisions in the 
security legislation. The Commission had recommended, inter 
alia, that the security laws be consolidated into one act. 
The Commission would permit the retention of detention without 
trial. The proposals would also place the burden on defendants 
to prove their innocence "beyond a balance of probability" once 
the prosecution has established that the alleged crime did 
occur and that the accused had some knowledge of it. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Security legislation allows the security forces almost 
unlimited powers of search and seizure. Invasion of homes is 
said to be connmonplace in the northern operational zone. Cars 
are searched at security checkpoints. Telephones and mail of 
those unsympathetic to the TG and the security forces are 
believed to be monitored. Some individuals charge that they 
are under periodic surveillance. There have been allegations 
that security forces have threatened civilians to obtain 
information on suspected SWAPO insurgents. 

g. Violations of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts 

Namibia has witnessed insurgency and counterinsurgency since 
1966. Although the combat action is often described as 
low-level guerrilla activity or as a "bush war," the 
cumulative costs in casualties and resources are high, and 
there is no end to the conflict in sight. 

In this long-running conflict, many innocent civilians have 
been hurt or killed. There are regular charges of abuse by 
security forces, particularly in the "operational area" of 
northern Namibia. The brother of a prominent church leader 
was killed in June. While the South African Defense Force 
admits shooting the man, Joseph Dumeni, SADF claims he was 
shot while violating the dusk-to-dawn curfew in the 
operational area in northern Namibia. His family claims, 
however, that he was killed in Angola before the curfew. 
There have been calls for a police investigation, and Dumeni "s 
wife is suing the SADF and the South African Defense 
Minister. In June one young woman was killed by security 
forces during a disputed curfew violation. Several other 
people have been shot during alleged curfew violations. In 
early October, security forces allegedly killed one woman and 
injured two others at an Ovamboland hospital. 

Civilians have also been killed in the course of both security 
force pursuits of insurgents and SWAPO insurgent actions. Two 
were killed when a Koevoet armored vehicle reportedly ran over 
a hut in Ovamboland. The SWATF claimed that a SWAPO bombing 
of an Ovambo shop killed 2 and injured 22. Other civilians 
reportedly were killed when vehicles exploded landmines 
planted by the guerrillas. The Government alleged that two 
children were killed in October by antipersonnel mines planted 
by SWAPO. A SWAPO bomb blast at a post office in Walvis Bay 
in November slightly injured one security guard. Two other 
bombs within a 24-hour period in Swakopmund and along a rail 
line in Windhoek caused minor damage and no injuries. The 



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NAMIBIA 

July car bomb in the parking garage of Windhoek's largest 
hotel and shopping center caused substantial damage but no 
injuries. Civilian casualties could have been significant if 
the bomb had exploded during business hours. There have been 
further allegations of kidnapings by SWAPO. Security forces, 
particularly Koevoet, have been accused of beating civilians 
during searches for insurgents or as a means of intimidating 
civilians in the north, ostensibly to discourage assistance to 
SWAPO guerrillas. 

The Government and SWAPO have blamed each other for several 
bombings or other attacks in 1987. The most notable example 
was the bombing and total destruction of a Roman Catholic 
church in Ovambo in September (there were no injuries). The 
security forces alleged SWAPO had carried out the action; 
SWAPO denied this, arguing that there was no reason to launch 
an attack against a group which is considered sympathetic to 
SWAPO . 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Both South Africa and the TG restrict non-Namibians from 
speaking out on political issues within Namibia. The TG has 
the authority to ban outsiders from entering Namibia to give 
speeches. The law also bans rightwing groups — including the 
Conservative Party, the Herstigte Nasionale Party, and the far 
right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging from speaking on plans for 
Namibian independence. 

Namibian newspapers are subject to South African press laws, 
including the Internal Security Act of 1950, which restrict 
reporting on some security matters. Nevertheless, Namibian 
newspapers can and often do publish stories critical of the 
security forces and TG. Although the Government controls the 
electronic media, newspapers represent views covering the 
entire political spectrum. Editorials have supported a 
variety of views, including pro-SWAPO sentiments. Newspapers 
also continue to publish stories critical of the activities of 
specific government employees. 

There were, however, instances of government restrictions on 
the press in 1987. The weekly. The Namibian, alleged that it 
was harassed and its reporters and photographers were not 
given equal access when covering security-related stories. 
The South African Directorate of Publications, which determines 
which stories are publishable, banned distribution of a January 
issue of The Namibian for publishing a photograph of an armored 
vehicle with bodies of dead SWAPO insurgents strapped to the 
outside of the vehicle. The South African authorities also 
banned a September edition of the weekly Observer, on security 
grounds . 

Publications which are banned in South Africa are for the most 
part also banned in Namibia. Some SWAPO publications have 
routinely been declared "undesirable" and thus illegal to sell 
or distribute. Windhoek bookstores carry some publications 
which one would not find in South Africa, and regulations 
regarding sexually oriented publications are somewhat less 
stringent in Namibia. 



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b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Namibian law requires that persons wishing to organize public 
meetings must obtain prior approval from the Government under 
the Notification and Prohibition of Meetings Act. Bans on 
meetings can also be imposed under the Riotous Assemblies Act 
of 1956. The Windhoek Supreme Court removed some restrictions 
on SWAPO meetings in 1986. As a result, there were no further 
outright bannings of SWAPO meetings in 1987, and SWAPO held 
several rallies including a May Day rally. However, security 
forces forcibly broke up some SWAPO meetings claiming they 
were acting in self-defense or were reacting to the presence 
of SWAPO members armed with weapons. In one incident, Rossing 
Uranium, one of the country's largest employers, expressed its 
"extreme concern" over the police breakup of a SWAPO meeting 
near its mine in Swakopmund. The police said they arrested 
eight people for possession of dangerous weapons and claimed 
the eight attempted to attack the police. Others at the 
gathering, however, said that none of the rally-goers carried 
weapons and that the police action was unprovoked. Security 
forces have also fired teargas or rubber bullets 
indiscriminately at rallies, according to several witnesses. 

Labor unions are legal in Namibia, and they have the right to 
engage in collective bargaining and to strike. In 1987 there 
was substantial union activity and several strikes. There are 
approximately 15 unions in Namibia, several of which were 
first registered by the Government in 1987. Most Namibian 
workers are not unionized, but the majority of workers in the 
largest single private sector of the economy, mining, are 
unionized. To limit politicization of the unions, the 
Government has legally proscribed South African unions from 
organizing in Namibia. Unions represent different political 
views, but the largest unions, allied in the National Union of 
Namibian Workers (NUNW) , are sympathetic to SWAPO, and their 
leaders are SWAPO officials. 

There are no industrial courts in Namibia, but there are 
conciliation boards. Although unregistered unions can bargain 
with their employers if they are recognized by management, 
they do not have access to conciliation boards. There were 43 
strikes in Namibia during the first 5 months of 1987, the last 
period for which figures are available. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Namibians enjoy freedom of religion. Almost all Namibians are 
Christians, with the Lutheran Church having the most adherents; 
The largest group belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Ovambo- 
Kavango Church, now known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church 
in Namibia (ELCIN) . Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, and 
Dutch Reformed churches are also active. There is one Jewish 
synagogue, in Windhoek. 

The majority of church leaders are openly critical of the TG, 
and are allied through the Council of Churches of Namibia 
(CCN) . CCN leaders claim that they are regularly harassed, 
and several church officials were denied passports in 1987, as 
they had been in earlier years. The security forces and the 
Government have said that these church people are SWAPO 
supporters . 



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NAMIBIA 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

A dusk-to-dawn curfew in the entire operational area of 
northern Namibia remains in place. A legal challenge to the 
curfew by some church leaders failed in the Windhoek court in 
1986 and in the appeals court in South Africa in 1987. The 
curfew, as noted elsewhere, has served as the backdrop for 
several disputes over alleged human rights abuses by the 
security forces. 

Until November 15, 1987, when the requirement was eliminated, 
there were six security districts which no person could visit 
without first obtaining a police permit. The districts 
affected included Ovamboland, Kavangoland, Kaokoland, 
Bushmanland, Hereroland East, and the Eastern Caprivi. 
Obtaining a permit generally took 2 days. Church people 
complained that the permit requirements restricted their 
access to the north, where most of their parishioners live. 

South Africa, through the Administrator General in Windhoek, 
controls foreign travel by Namibians. There were several 
cases in 1987 where political opponents of the TG were denied 
either passports or travel documents. Since the holding of a 
passport is considered a privilege, not a right, those denied 
passports or travel documents cannot appeal through the 
courts. The Administrator General and his officers do not 
have to provide reasons for a denial. 

There were no known deportations under the "Residence of 
Certain Persons in South West Africa Regulation Act," which 
allows for the deportation of non-Namibians who threaten the 
public order. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Namibians do not have the right to change their government. 
South Africa still maintains control over the territory, even 
though the United Nations has declared South Africa's mandate 
illegal. While the Transitional Government in theory controls 
most government portfolios except for defense and foreign 
affairs, the South African Government and its representative, 
the Administrator General, still maintain ultimate authority. 

The TG and the National Assembly are appointed, not elected, 
bodies. Namibia is administered by a three-tiered structure, 
created in 1980 under a decree, promulgated by the 
Administrator General, known as AG-8, which provides for a 
central legislative body (the National Assembly), 11 
ethnic-based second-tier authorities, and local or municipal 
authorities. Only some of the second-tier legislatures have 
been elected. The second-tier element, which currently 
establishes the Namibian political system on an ethnic basis 
rather than on a national nontribal basis, generates 
considerable internal political debate. The Transitional 
Government requested during 1987 that the Windhoek Supreme 
Court offer an advisory opinion on whether AG-8 violated the 
antidiscrimination provisions of the TG ' s Bill of Fundamental 
Rights. The opinion, which had yet to be issued at the end of 
1987, would not be binding. The possibility of ethnic or 
regional elections was discussed during 1987, but a 1-year 
moratorium has been issued on most second-tier elections. 
(The Ovambo and Damara authorities are not included in the 
moratorium.) The Rehoboth Basters, 1 of the 11 ethnic groups. 



213 



NAMIBIA 

are ruled under a separate dispensation and held elections 
December 16. Such elections are not recognized internationally 
because of the U.N. withdrawal of South Africa's mandate. 
UNSCR 435 calls for internationally supervised elections of a 
national constituent assembly as part of the independence 
process. Although UNSCR 435 calls for these elections before 
the drafting of a constitution, the South African President 
created a Constitutional Council containing members of the TG 
to devise a constitution. The Council reached majority but 
not unanimous agreement on a draft in 1987. However, this 
draft apparently was unacceptable to the South African 
Government because it did not provide adequate guarantees for 
minority ethnic groups. In June, after a meeting between 
South African Government and TG officials in Windhoek, it was 
decided to offer the majority draft and another one, supported 
by the South West Africa National Party and the Rehoboth 
Basters, for public comment. Discussions among the TG 
majority, the TG minority, the Administrator General, and the 
South African Government on the constitution were continuing 
at the end of 1987. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Administrator General and the TG had a mixed record in 
1987 in permitting critics of Namibia's human rights situation 
to visit Namibia. A representative of the Lawyers' Committee 
for Human Rights initially was refused a visa, but then was 
allowed entry. Some church officials, including those 
belonging to the territory's largest denomination, the 
Lutheran Church, were allowed into the country. The TG 
refused two Lutheran groups visas for a "pastoral visit" in 
October, claiming the groups "are not in favor of the 
Government and they have not contributed to the peace and 
stability of this country." The Lutheran World Federation 
protested the visa denial to President Botha. During 1987 the 
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) visited 25 
persons at Windhoek security prison who had been sentenced or 
were awaiting trial on the basis of security laws and arranged 
for family visits to the prisoners. The ICRC is seeking 
access to all detainees arrested in connection with the 
conflict, and negotiations among the ICRC, the TG, and the 
South African Government were continuing at the end of 1987. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Namibia's second-tier government authorities are based on the 
following racial and ethnic groups present in the territory: 
Ovambo, Whites, Damara, Herero, Kavango, Nama, Colored (mixed 
race), Kaokovelder, Bushmen, Rehoboth Baster, Caprivian, and 
Tswana. Namibia's population in 1987 was estimated at 1.3 
million, of whom just over half are Ovambo. There are 
approximately 75,000 whites in Namibia. Although some 
government revenues are shared among all the groups, much of 
the tax revenue collected from members of the different ethnic 
groups stays with that group. Thus, white medical and 
educational facilities are far superior to those of the other 
groups . 

Social facilities are generally open to all races, although 
private businesses can, and in some cases do, restrict 
admittance based on race. Unlike South Africa, residential 
areas are not legally segregated. Economic factors do. 



214 



NAMIBIA 

however, separate the races, and there are de facto black and 
"colored" townships in the territory. Some hospitals, such as 
the state hospital in Windhoek, admit all patients but have 
separate wings for different races. 

Although the majority of the TG is in favor of opening the 
schools to all races, schools remained segregated through 
1987. Under AG-8, the 1980 decree that first divided Namibia 
into 11 ethnic authorities, school administration is considered 
part of "own affairs," which are controlled by the ethnic 
authorities. The TG does not have the legal authority under 
AG-8 to force the ethnic administered schools to desegregate. 
The white second-tier authority has agreed to accept 
applications by individual schools that want to desegregate, 
but so far only one school has applied. In March the white 
legislative assembly approved a bill to eliminate race or 
color in themselves as factors in school admissions, but 
replaced them with factors such as culture, language, and 
religion, thus effectively perpetuating the segregated system. 
Further movement on the issue of school desegregation depends 
on the broader issue of the continuation of AG-8. As noted 
earlier, the Windhoek Supreme Court has been asked to give a 
nonbinding advisory opinion as to whether AG-8 violates the 
TG ' s Bill of Fundamental Rights, which calls for an end to 
discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity. 

The South West African National Party and the Rehoboth 
Basters, two TG parties, continued their opposition to open 
schools and a loosening of the various ethnic groups' control 
over "own affairs." Moreover, the South African Government 
has consistently expressed support for group rights and "own 
affairs" in Namibia as well as in South Africa. 

Women continued to be discriminated against in both the 
traditional and modern sectors. Under traditional practice, a 
woman is usually the ward of her father or, when married, her 
husband. She is not independent. There is still some de 
facto discrimination in employment in the modern sector. 
There are female members of the National Assembly, but there 
are no female cabinet members. Some community groups and 
government bodies are targeting women in their development 
programs . 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

There is no minimum wage in Namibia. The minimum working age 
is 15. The current occupational health standards are not 
enforced and were part of union demands for revision in 1987. 
A labor commission appointed by the Administrator General to 
review Namibia's outdated labor laws, including safety and 
health standards, is expected to make public its 
recommendations during the first half of 1988. 



215 



NIGER 



Niger is governed by an authoritarian military regime with 
power concentrated in the hands of its President, Colonel Ali 
Saibou who succeeded the late General Seyni Kountche in 
November. Saibou also heads the nation's highest body, the 
Supreme Military Council. Kountche, who died of natural 
causes, took power in 1974 in a military coup, toppling the 
civilian regime of Hamani Diori . At that time the Constitution 
was suspended, and the country has since been ruled by decree. 
President Saibou was Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces from 
1976 until assuming the Presidency. 

The Nigerien Armed Forces, numbering about 2,600 members plus 
800 gendarmes (paramilitary police), help ensure internal 
security. Other security organizations are: the Direction de 
la Securite de L'Etat (DSE), which reports directly to the 
President; the Surete National (or National Police) which is 
responsible for maintaining public order and countering 
antigovernment activity; and a presidential protection unit. 

Niger, one of the world's poorest countries, occupies a large 
area in the arid Sahel region of West Africa. The economy is 
based on subsistence farming, livestock, and some of the 
world's largest uranium deposits. However, severe drought, a 
3.1 percent population growth rate, and declining world demand 
for uranium since the early 1980's, have seriously weakened 
the economy. 

Human rights are circumscribed. The freedoms of assembly, 
speech, and political activity are restricted. Public dissent 
is almost nonexistent, and private dissent rare for fear of 
retribution. In 1987, however, a popular referendum approved 
the National Charter. Individual liberties of opinion and 
thought, expression, conscience, movement, residence, and 
communication are provided for in principle in the Charter, as 
are the "collective liberties" of assembly and political 
meetings. The Charter is to serve as the basis for Niger's 
future constitution, which supposedly will guide the country's 
eventual return to civilian rule. The late President Kountche 
stressed, nonetheless, in April that the military will 
continue to play a major role in the political life of the 
nation. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of political killings. 

b. Disappearance 

No disappearances were reported. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Systematic torture of detainees and prisoners is not believed 
to take place. While not officially sanctioned by the 
Government, cruel treatment, usually in the form of beatings, 
has been meted out by officials charged with the custody of 
prisoners. Foreigners resident in Niger are frequently 
harassed by the police and occasionally suffer physical abuse 



80-779 - 



216 



NIGER 

while in detention. It is believed that political prisoners 
or detainees are rarely allowed visits from family members, 
but some with severe medical problems have been allowed 
treatment by specialists from Europe. In its 1987 Report, 
Amnesty International (AI) expressed concern that detainees 
continued to be held in harsh conditions, including in a 
remote prison in eastern Niger. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

With the Constitution suspended since 1974, there are no 
specific statutory protections against arbitrary arrest or 
imprisonment. Warrants are not required for an arrest, and 
there is no right to judicial review of the legality of 
arrests or detentions. For criminal offenses, the law holds 
that detainees must be charged within 48 hours, but delays 
sometimes occur as the result of lack of trained legal 
officials. In cases concerning political or security-related 
matters, detainees can be held indefinitely without charge. 

When the Government believes the national security to be at 
risk, large numbers of citizens may be rounded up arbitrarily 
for questioning, as with the roundup of Tuaregs in Niamey 
after the attack on a police station in Tchin-Tabaraden in 
1985. There are no known instances of dissidents or political 
opponents being exiled by the Government, although some 
dissidents have gone into exile voluntarily. 

Forced labor is not practiced in Niger, but during the 1985 
drought emergency, displaced herders, primarily ethnic Tuaregs 
and Fulanis, were in some instances forcibly moved onto 
government-sponsored, vegetable-growing projects. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Niger's legal system is an amalgam of French, Islamic, and 
traditional law. Civil and criminal cases not involving 
security-related acts are tried publicly. Legal counsel is 
provided by the State for indigent defendants accused of 
felonies or other major offenses if they are under 18 years of 
age, handicapped, or faced with the possibility of a sentence 
of more than 10 years. While there are reliable accounts that 
courts in some specific cases have been subject to political 
influence or pressure in ordinary civil or criminal cases, the 
judicial system is believed to be generally independent and 
fair. Defendants may appeal verdicts first to an appellate 
court and, if desired, to the nation's highest tribunal, the 
State Court, composed of civilian magistrates, which serves as 
a final court of appeals. The President has the right of 
pardon in penal cases and has invoked this right on several 
occasions in recent years. At the village level, matters such 
as property disputes are frequently resolved by traditional 
means without reference to the formal legal system. 

The exact number of political prisoners in Niger is unknown, 
although it is believed to be small. In November 1987, 
President Saibou ordered the release or commutation of the 
sentences of over 100 political prisoners, including 15 
persons being held in connection with a 1976 coup attempt, and 
16 of the 19 held in connection with the October 1983 coup 
attempt. He also commuted to life imprisonment the death 
sentences of 7 of the 11 Tuareg prisoners convicted for their 
roles in the 1985 Tchin-Tabaraden attack and released from 
house arrest 52 persons, including former President Hamani 
Diori. 



217 



NIGER 

Political and security-related cases are tried in the State 
Security Court, which operates outside the normal legal 
framework. This body, established by presidential decree, 
meets in secret, and while little is known about its 
proceedings, it is believed that its members are military 
officers. According to AI , the Tuaregs condemned to death in 
1985 were tried before this court. 

In June 1985, President Kountche announced the formation of a 
special court to investigate civil service corruption. Stiff 
penalties were established for these crimes, including the 
death penalty for convictions of embezzlement of amounts over 
$500,000. At the corruption trials held in 1986, however, 
life imprisonment was the most severe penalty assessed. 
Trials were also held in 1987 but were not widely publicized. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The police have the right to enter homes between 5 a.m. and 9 
p.m. and will enter at other times if deemed necessary. Court 
warrants are not required in such instances. Violations of 
privacy such as interference with correspondence, telephone 
tapping, and use of informer networks are known to take place. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

These freedoms are restricted. Institutions which might voice 
dissent, such as an independent press or a freely elected 
legislature, do not exist. The media are controlled by the 
Government. While some criticism of government policy or 
bureaucratic inefficiency is allowed, especially in the weekly 
publication, Sunday Sahel, such criticism is expressed at the 
behest of, or at least with the knowledge and permission of, 
the Government. Debates on aspects of the economy or cultural 
policy sometimes take place in the media, but the boundaries 
of permissible discussion are well understood in advance by 
all participants. 

The primary functions of the media are to disseminate 
government policies and viewpoints and to rally popular 
support for government programs and leading figures such as 
the President. Nigerien journalists are acutely av;are of 
their status as government employees and of the guidelines 
within which they must operate. Journalists who have strayed 
from these guidelines have been demoted, fired, or otherwise 
disciplined in the past, although no such incidents occurred 
in 1987. While there are no legal constraints on academic 
freedom, in practice university students and professors are 
reluctant to speak openly about potentially controversial 
domestic issues for fear of government reprisal. There have 
been no reports of censored or banned magazines or other 
publications, but the Government is under no legal constraints 
should it discover material that it deems offensive. Foreign 
films are subject to censorship by the Ministry of Interior on 
grounds of public morality and political content. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Except for political parties, most forms of voluntary 
association, such as trade unions, churches, and other 
religious groups, function with the understanding that they 
must act in accordance with government policy. Government 



218 



NIGER 

permission is required for public gatherings, although, in 
practice, public meetings of such organizations are usually- 
allowed. 

Roughly 90 percent of Niger's work force is employed in some 
aspect of agriculture or herding. In the small modern economy, 
the trade union movement is weak, and controlled and partially 
financed by the Government. All unions are organized under a 
government-controlled umbrella group, the National Union of 
Nigerien Workers (USTN) . The head of the USTN is elected by 
its members. The USTN represents about 30 percent of the 
approximately 60,000 salaried workers in Niger. Collective 
bargaining is legally authorized and is conducted by 
representatives from individual unions, employers, and the 
Government. There is a general collective bargaining 
agreement in force between the USTN, employers, and the 
Government which covers wages and benefits. However, 
individual unions are permitted to bargain for more favorable 
agreements at their work sites. The USTN is poorly financed 
partly because of government refusal to allow fund-raising 
methods such as a dues checkoff system. Strikes in Niger are 
rare, although legal if conciliation and mediation procedures 
have been exhausted. The USTN maintains relations with 
recognized international bodies, e.g., the International Labor 
Organization and the Accra-based Organization of African Trade 
Union Unity. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Niger is over 90 percent Muslim, but the Government allows the 
practice of other religious beliefs. Foreign missionaries are 
permitted to live, work, and travel in Niger. There have been 
no reports of religious discrimination. Out of respect for 
religious minorities and on political grounds. President 
Kountche vigorously resisted any suggestions for making Niger 
an Islamic Republic. The new National Charter adopted in June 
formally proclaims Niger a secular state. Religious groups 
are allowed to maintain links with coreligionists in other 
countries . 

The Government, concerned by the Islamic fundamentalist 
violence which erupts periodically in northern Nigeria, 
monitors Muslim religious activity through the Islamic 
Association. This Association is funded by the Government and 
assists in an intormal government screening process of local 
religious leaders. Islamic services that have gone beyond 
strictly religious subjects have been shut down. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Travel within Niger is closely monitored, although no special 
travel documents are required for domestic travel. Police 
checks, often entailing thorough searches, take place upon 
entering or leaving any major town or city. These checks 
reflect a governmental preoccupation with security and 
smuggling, a concern over possible movements into the country 
of foreign-based dissidents or criminal elements, and a policy 
designed to discourage migration to urban areas. Nigeriens 
wishing to travel abroad must obtain exit visas, which are 
usually granted routinely. Married women must have the 
permission of their husbands to travel abroad. The 
repatriation of Nigerien nationals is unrestricted. Niger is 
a party to the U.N. Convention and Protocol Relating to the 
Status of Refugees and has been cooperative with respect to 



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NIGER 

the 14 refugees currently in Niger under the auspices of the 
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The capacity of the people to influence the Government is 
extremely limited. Virtually all power is held by the 
President, who derives his authority from the military. He 
rules through the Supreme Military Council which is made up of 
officers who helped stage the 1974 coup that toppled the last 
civilian regime. The President rules by decree, makes all 
government appointments, and controls the pace of political 
change and economic development. The transition to the new 
President had proceeded smoothly at the end of 1987 with 
little obvious change in procedures or style of governance. 
Government day-to-day operations are conducted largely by 
civilian technocrats who implement decisions promulgated by 
the Supreme Military Council and the President himself. While 
all but five ministerial positions have passed from military 
to civilian hands in recent years, all of Niger's seven 
departments have military governors, who have autocratic 
power within their departments. Moreover, there is a marked 
military presence in the upper echelons of the National 
Development Council. 

In lieu of a party system, the Government since 1979 has been 
organizing the National Development Council and subordinate 
councils at the village, regional, and departmental levels, 
which in theory will lead to greater popular participation in 
economic decisionmaking. These councils consist of elected 
and appointed members, although only at the village level are 
members elected directly by the people. The national-level 
Council consists of Nigeriens from all walks of life, who also 
serve on special committees to consider various aspects of 
economic development, cultural policy, and social issues. 
One such committee was responsible for drafting the National 
Charter which will serve as the framework for the future 
constitution. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

In recent years, inguiries from international human rights 
organizations, such as AI's 1986 letter requesting, among 
other things, information about seven detainees, have 
apparently been ignored by the Government. (In its 1987 
Report, AI noted, however, that one of the detainees mentioned 
in its letter had been released.) There are no domestic 
groups which monitor the human rights situation in Niger. 
Niger is not active in regional and international human rights 
organizations . 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Four major ethnic groups, each with its own language, make up 
the bulk of the population. The two primarily nomadic groups, 
Tuaregs and Fulani (Peul), have less access to government 
services, partly because their transient lifestyles make it 
difficult for the Government to supply them with services and 
partly because of historical animosities between the nomads 
and the sedentary Djerma and Hausa ethnic groups which 
dominate the Government. 



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NIGER 

The essentially traditional nature of Nigerien society helps 
ensure that family and ethnic group ties remain strong and 
supportive, but traditional practices and attitudes on 
ethnicity, women, and education have some negative effects. 
Males have considerable advantages in terms of education, 
employment, and property rights. While women have the right 
to vote, Niger is notable for its dearth of women in 
senior-level government positions. In case of divorce, 
custody of all children over 7 years of age is given to the 
husband. Conscious of this situation, the Government has made 
progress in improving the status of women by launching work on 
a new family code, by providing better employment opportunities 
to women, by giving them a significant role in the National 
Development Council, and by supporting the National Women's 
Association. In 1987 the Government continued to encourage 
Nigeriens to practice family planning. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Under the Niger labor code, workers receive benefits for 
on-the-job injury, leave for family emergencies, and health 
benefits. Annual holidays and leave benefits are clearly 
defined. Children between the ages of 12 and 18 may be 
employed, but there are strict provisions concerning the hours 
and types of employment for children in this age group. The 
minimum wage (about $74 a month) applies to all sectors. In 
practice, all labor provisions, especially those concerning 
child labor, apply to urban areas and generally are enforced 
mainly in the modern, wage sector. In the agricultural 
sector, which employs most Nigeriens, children work on family 
plots under conditions which are not in compliance with the 
provisions of the labor code, and there is no attempt at 
enforcement . 



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President Ibrahim Babangida came to power in a military coup 
in August 1985, overthrowing a previous military government 
which had seized power from civilians in December 1983. A 
30-member Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC) is the country's 
main decisionmaking organ, while a mixed military/civilian 
cabinet presides over the Federal Government's executive 
departments. Military governors head each of the 21 states. 
The 1979 Constitution remains partially in effect, but 
significant provisions, namely, those guaranteeing free 
elections, political parties, and the right to due process and 
habeas corpus, are suspended. Due process and habeas corpus, 
however, continue to be respected in most cases. Federal and 
state legislation are promulgated by decrees, which are exempt 
from challenge in the courts. The Government elaborated plans 
in 1987 to return the country to civilian rule featuring a 
two-party system, although in July it postponed the final date 
from 1990 to 1992. As first steps, the Government in 1987 
created a National Electoral Commission and a Constitutional 
Review Committee, both composed of civilians, and conducted 
nationwide elections in December for local governing councils. 

The Government enforces its authority through the Federal 
security apparatus--the military, the State Security Service 
(SSS) , and the national police--and through the courts. No 
separate law enforcement agencies exist at the state and local 
levels. The Government generally exercises effective control 
over the security apparatus, but deficiencies in organization 
and management sometimes lead to human rights violations. 

Nigeria, with an estimated 108 million people, is Africa's 
most populous country. It has a mixed economy in which the 
Government plays a major but declining role. In June 1986, 
President Babangida announced an economic structural adjustment 
program calling for increased reliance on market forces and 
the private sector. 

The Babangida Government continued to articulate a policy of 
general respect for fundamental human rights. Important 
exceptions related to the Government's efforts to restrain 
political debate and participation prior to a return to 
civilian rule and significant deficiencies in the judicial and 
state security systems. Freedom of the press was undercut by 
several notable cases in which government authorities moved 
against publishers and journalists for printing articles 
either at odds with government decisions or considered 
inimical to national security. In the wake of serious 
religious rioting between Christians and Muslims in March, 
which left 19 dead, the Government instituted various bans on 
religious advertising and campus-based religious organizing as 
well as limitations on proselytizing. The Government 
continued its practice of reviewing the cases of Nigerians 
detained or convicted under decrees of the previous military 
administration. The impact of these efforts was reduced by 
the slow pace of judicial procedures, especially in the case 
of the corruption and civil disturbances tribunals. 



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RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 



Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There was no evidence of politically motivated killing at 
government or private instigation in 1987. The October 1986 
letter-bomb killing of the editor-in-chief of an influential 
weekly newsmagazine. Dele Giwa, remains unsolved, despite an 
ongoing government investigation. The incident continues to 
generate keen public interest and unsubstantiated allegations 
of government involvement. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearance. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

A portion of the 1979 Constitution that is still in effect 
outlaws torture and mistreatment of prisoners. Nigerian law 
provides that such excesses be dealt with in criminal or civil 
proceedings. There were no reports or allegations of torture 
in 1987. Public allegations of police brutality surfaced 
periodically, primarily in connection with periods of 
heightened religious or community tensions. Prominent 
northerners alleged, following March rioting in northern 
Kaduna state, that the police and military committed excesses 
in their efforts to stem the violence and apprehend 
perpetrators. Similar charges were made about the treatment 
of detainees, some of them children. There has been no public 
investigation of these allegations. Suspected criminals 
allegedly killed by police in separate instances in different 
states led to antipolice mob violence. In one of the 
incidents, the state governor ordered a judicial probe, and in 
both cases police suspected of the actions were arrested. 

Prison conditions remain poor because of the lack of basic 
necessities. In May, inmates at one prison rioted over food 
supplies, resulting in the deaths of 24 prisoners. A special 
tribunal appointed by the Government to look into the incident 
began hearings in September. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The Babangida Government has retained the authority to detain 
without charge persons suspected of acts prejudicial to state 
security or harmful to the economic well-being of the country 
under Decree 2 of 1984, the State Security (Detention of 
Persons) Decree. This Decree suspends sections of the 1979 
Constitution guaranteeing citizens the right to fair trial, 
due process, and judicial determination of the legality of 
detention (habeas corpus). While it imposes no time limit and 
disallows challenges of the detention in a court of law, the 
Decree does provide for administrative review of detention 
cases every 3 months. Several persons, including former 
politicians returning from self-exile, were detained under 
this Decree during 1987. One American citizen was detained 
for 103 days without charge before his release on his own 
recognizance on November 23. 



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Some Nigerians have been detained in 1987 without being held 
under the provisions of Decree 2 of 1984. Cumbersome 
administrative procedures and bureaucratic inefficiency 
sometimes result in persons suspected of criminal offenses 
being held for extended periods without charge or trial even 
though provisions of the 1979 Constitution still in force 
guarantee persons charged with crimes a fair public trial in 
civilian courts within 3 months from the date of arrest. The 
Director of Prisons said in September that about two-thirds of 
Nigeria's 54,000 inmates are awaiting trials. During routine 
inspections of prisons in 1987, High Court chief judges 
exercised their right to release detainees found to have spent 
more time in prison than they would have if they had been 
convicted for their alleged crimes. 

An unknown number of persons are still in detention without 
charge or trial following the arrests of about 700 persons in 
connection with the March religious disturbances in northern 
Nigeria. The Civil Disturbances (Special Tribunal) Decree of 
1987, promulgated after the disturbances, provided for 
investigation of the rioting and for the arrest and trial by 
special tribunal of those suspected of committing specified 
offenses. This decree makes northern Nigeria's criminal 
procedure code the applicable law for the trials (including 
provisions for bail, representation by lawyers, and appeal — 
except in cases of armed robbery). However, administrative 
confusion has resulted in continued detention without charge 
or bail for many. The refusal of some of the accused to 
accept government-appointed lawyers has delayed tribunal 
proceedings. At the end of 1987, about three-fourths of the 
89 cases initially slated for trial by the civil disturbances 
special tribunal had been tried. In July a Kaduna state High 
Court judge ordered the release of two of those arrested on 
grounds that the government counsel was unable to produce 
evidence to justify their arrest under the Civil Disturbances 
(Special Tribunal) Decree of 1987. In August, 44 of those 
slated for trial engaged in a 4-day hunger strike to protest 
the pace of the trials, prison conditions, and being forced to 
share cells with convicted criminals. The Federal Government 
responded by transferring the convicts to other jails. 

In 1987 the Government continued a process, begun in 1986, of 
reviewing the cases of persons detained or convicted under 
various decrees during the previous military administration 
(1984-85), many of whom had already been released. In June a 
detainees 's review panel ordered the release of 22 persons 
following a review of all outstanding detentions. Some were 
granted bail, others were either recommended for trial or had 
cases pending in court. The panel is headed by the Attorney 
General, who said the panel will continue to meet periodically. 

In 1987 two state governments released over 650 suspected 
members of the Maitatsine religious sect. They had been 
detained without charge since uprisings in 1984 and 1985 in 
Gongola and Bauchi states. The state governments had been 
unable to prosecute them due to the unwillingness of witnesses 
to testify against them in court. According to the Gongola 
state Attorney General, the 50 most dangerous prisoners will 
remain in detention indefinitely. About 100 of the detainees 
reportedly died of hunger, disease, and malnutrition while in 
prison custody. 

Still in detention without charge since August 1985 are former 
military Head of State (1984-85) Muhammadu Buhari and his 
Chief of Staff Tunde Idiagbon. No Nigerian has been exiled. 



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NIGERIA 

Self-exiled politicians are free to return home with the 
caveat that those suspected of crimes are subject to 
prosecution. Former Senate President Joe Wayas has been 
detained without charge since returning to Nigeria in June 
1987. A former Speaker of the House of Representatives who 
returned in December 1986 is also in detention. A former 
Minister of Commerce and Internal Affairs, detained without 
charge since his return to Nigeria in 1986, was released in 
May 1987. 

The Government does not use forced labor as a means of 
political coercion or as a sanction against free expression. 
Nigeria's 1979 Constitution provides that "no person shall be 
required to perform forced or compulsory labor." The latter 
excludes community service programs such as the National Youth 
Service Corps and environmental clean-up campaigns. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The 1984 decree modifying the 1979 Constitution left the 
judiciary relatively unscathed, but it shifted judicial 
activity for certain specified offenses to special military 
tribunals that were established outside the regular judicial 
system, notably for corruption cases( see below). The regular 
judiciary is composed of both Federal and state courts and 
includes procedures for appeals from courts of first instance 
to parallel appeal courts at state levels, then to the Federal 
Court of Appeal and finally to the Federal Supreme Court. 
Courts of first instance under the 1979 Constitution include 
magistrate or district courts, customary or area courts, 
religious or Shari'a courts, and for some specified cases, the 
state high courts. In some instances the nature of the case 
determines which court enjoys jurisdiction. In others, when 
jurisdiction is overlapping as in the case of customary and 
Shari'a courts, the plaintiff can designate the court. 
Shari'a, or Islamic courts, are limited by the Constitution to 
the 11 northern states of Nigeria. 

Trials in the regular court system are public and adhere to 
certain constitutionally guaranteed individual rights. These 
include a presumption of innocence, the right to be present at 
a public trial, to confront witnesses and present evidence, 
and to be represented by legal counsel if so desired. In 
capital cases, the Government provides counsel for indigent 
defendants. In other cases, indigents must rely for counsel 
on the Nigerian Legal Aid Society, which has limited resources, 
Assistance is extended under the Legal Aid Act of 1976 to 
persons with incomes of up to $400 per year. There is a 
functioning bail system. In his Independence Day speech, 
President Babangida announced that the Government would ensure 
strict compliance with laws denying bail to those charged with 
murder and armed robbery. 

Through decrees promulgated by the previous military 
government, but still in effect, the AFRC transferred 
jurisdiction over cases involving corruption, currency 
violations, armed robbery, and a variety of miscellaneous 
offenses, such as drug trafficking and illegal oil bunkering, 
from the civilian judicial system to special military 
tribunals. In these cases, those charged have access to legal 
assistance, bail (except in the case of armed robbery), and 
the right to appeal (except in the case of armed robbery and 
conviction under the Civil Disturbances Decree). Civilian 
judges head all special tribunals even though military members 
may be included. Currently six special tribunals including a 



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Special Appeal Tribunal are in operation. Convictions for 
armed robbery by the Special Robbery and Firearms Tribunals 
carry the death sentence and no right of appeal, although the 
sentence must be confirmed in some states by state military 
governors or the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory 
before it is carried out. The Special Appeal Tribunal began 
its first hearing in September, but no appeals were concluded 
before the end of the year. Recommendations of the Appeal 
Tribunal are subject to AFRC confirmation. 

Amnesty International's 1987 Report (covering 1986) gave 
prominent attention to the activities of the Special Robbery 
and Firearms Tribunals, noting the large number of persons 
sentenced to death and executed in 1986 and the need for an 
appeal mechanism to a higher court. The judicial review 
panels of 1986 recommended corruption trials for nearly 800 
former public officials. However, the two corruption 
tribunals created in September 1986 to try these suspects have 
so far heard fewer than a dozen of the pending cases. 

In September, five defense attorneys withdrew under protest 
from the civil disturbances tribunal proceedings on the March 
religious riots. The lawyers, who were jointly defending 67 
people, claimed they were being denied regular access to their 
clients and accused the judges of partiality. The Trial 
Lawyers Association of Nigeria has offered free legal service 
to the accused persons who have rejected government-appointed 
counsel. The accused have no right of appeal, and the AFRC 
must confirm all sentences. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Nigerian society is generally free of arbitrary interference 
by the State in the private lives of its citizens. Provisions 
of the 1979 Constitution still in force guarantee rights of 
privacy in the home, correspondence, and oral electronic 
communications. General surveillance of the population by the 
State is not practiced. In April police reportedly searched 
the homes of some members of the government-appointed Political 
Bureau, during investigations into the unauthorized leak to the 
press of the Bureau's report. No Bureau members were arrested 
or detained. Forced entry into homes without a warrant rarely 
occurs . 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The modified 1979 Constitution provides for freedom of 
expression and the press. Political, social, and economic 
issues are openly discussed. However, officials frequently 
caution journalists both publicly and privately on their 
responsibility and the extent of press freedom. In addition, 
in 1987 the Government took actions against a number of 
publishers and journalists to limit news reporting that is 
critical of government policies. Academic freedom is 
generally respected. 

The 1979 Constitution reserves to the Federal and state 
governments the exclusive right to own and operate radio and 
television stations. There are no restrictions on ownership 
of print media, and Nigeria has a lively press. Among the 
vast array of Nigerian daily newspapers are seven privately 
owned national dailies with large circulations, one daily 



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owned by the Federal Government, and another in which the 
Federal Government owns a majority share. Some states operate 
their own daily newspapers. In some states privately owned 
dailies compete with state papers. Four weekly newsmagazines 
vie for national readership. 

On several occasions in 1987 Federal and state authorities 
interrogated, jailed, or fired editors and reporters of 
government-owned papers on grounds that they had published 
articles inconsistent with official policy or otherwise 
embarrassing to the Government. Triggering these actions were 
items such as a two-page paid advertisement charging government 
security forces with bias in handling the March religious 
riots, an erroneously reported trip abroad by the President's 
wife, and an editorial critical of the Federal Government's 
removal of two leading directors of government-controlled 
banks who objected to central bank policies. 

In April President Babangida pledged not to revive Decree 4, a 
curb on the press imposed by the previous military Government. 
However, later in the year the President prohibited any 
attempts by the media to give publicity to those banned from 
elective office and to those advocating creation of new states 
in Nigeria. 

The 1979 Constitution includes a provision aimed at preventing 
disclosure of confidential information harmful to national 
security. Citing national security among its reasons, the 
Government closed for 5 months a leading weekly newsmagazine, 
Newswatch, and briefly detained three of its editors for 
publishing excerpts of the then-classified Political Bureau 
report on Nigeria's political future. The editors publicly 
apologized and stated they had not intended to embarrass the 
Government. They were not prosecuted. 

During 1987 the Government made several other moves aimed at 
curbing what it considers media irresponsibility with national 
security implications. It impounded an issue of a privately 
owned newsweekly for criticizing the firing of the bank 
officials, continued to require official authorization prior 
to press interviews of civil servants, limited the quantity of 
religious broadcasting on television and radio (all government 
owned) following religious rioting, and prohibited publication 
of advertisements paid for by religious organizations. A 
military tribunal hearing a corruption case against a former 
politician acquitted the publisher, editor, and reporter of a 
leftwing magazine of contempt for publishing an article 
tribunal authorities had considered prejudicial to the 
tribunal. In October Federal security authorities temporarily 
prevented publication of a book about the life of a prominent 
newsmagazine editor killed by a letter-bomb in 1986. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Although Nigeria's 1979 Constitution assures all citizens the 
right to assemble freely and to associate with other persons 
in political parties, trade unions, or other special interest 
associations, in practice, there are important exceptions. 
The provision regarding the right to form and join political 
parties was suspended by Decree 9 of 1984. This Decree also 
authorizes the Government to dissolve or ban any other group 
considered to have objectives similar to those of a political 
party. Police monitor gatherings suspected of violating the 
ban. Government officials frequently reminded Nigerians 
during 1987 of the continuing ban on political activity but 



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NIGERIA 

did not dissolve any other organizations despite widespread 
allegations that an organization formed by a group of northern 
elders had objectives similar to those of a political party. 
The Government announced in June that political activity and 
the formation of political parties, limited to two, will 
resume in 1989. 

Nigerians form and participate in a myriad of special interest 
organizations, including a wide range of religious groups, 
trade groups, women's organizations, and professional 
associations. Organizations are not required to register with 
the Government. However, following the March religious 
disturbances, the Government introduced a requirement that 
religious groups be sanctioned by either the Christian 
Association of Nigeria, in the case of Christian groups, or 
the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, in the case of Muslim 
groups. Permits are not normally required for public meetings 
unless the venue is outdoors in a government facility and 
police security would be appropriate. In most states open-air 
religious services, outside a church or a mosque, are 
prohibited. 

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has been 
banned since nationwide student demonstrations in May 1986. 
However, in December 1986 the Government authorized individual 
campuses to reinstitute student organizations. In May 1987, 
police were deployed to forestall a news conference scheduled 
by NANS to commemorate the previous year's demonstrations. 
Earlier the Inspector-General of Police had broadcast a 
reminder to students that the ban on NANS demonstrations and 
meetings was still in force. The police also published new 
guidelines for handling campus disturbances to avoid 
fatalities such as occurred in 1986. 

All Nigerian workers 16 years or older may join trade unions, 
with the exception of members of the armed forces and 
designated employees of essential government services at the 
Federal, state, and local levels. Employers are obliged to 
recognize trade unions and must pay a dues checkoff for 
employees who are members of a registered trade union. The 
establishment of closed shops is prohibited. About 10 percent 
of the 3 million nonfarm work force claims union membership, 
and the unions constitute a strong bargaining force for worker 
rights. With the ban on political parties still in force, 
unions have been cautious not to assume the role of a 
political party, but labor leaders have spoken out both in 
support and criticism of government labor policies. However, 
in response to a labor-led campaign against the Government's 
stated intention to eliminate or reduce petroleum subsidies, 
about 30 officials of the Nigeria Labour Congress, including 
its President, were detained without charges for 8 days in 
mid-December. Although the Government threatened to charge 
them with subversion, all were released unconditionally. 

Despite provisions in the 1979 Constitution and Nigeria's 
ratification of 28 International Labor Organization (ILO) 
conventions, government decrees and policy continue to 
restrict certain labor freedoms. A 1978 decree created a 
single central labor body, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), 
forcibly merged a number of unions into 42 industrial unions, 
and deregistered all other unions. The Government has not 
responded to a 1982 ILO committee of experts finding that this 
decree violates ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association 
and Protection of the Right to Organize. The 1978 decree also 
created senior staff associations to represent white-collar 



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workers, which a 1986 decree explicitly excluded from NLC 
membership, forcing two such associations to withdraw. Since 
1975 government policy has permitted international labor 
affiliation only with the ILO and the Organization of African 
Trade Union Unity and its affiliated pan-African labor 
federations. Government policy does permit, however, informal 
"fraternal relations" with foreign unions and secretariats. 

The labor laws of Nigeria permit collective bargaining between 
management and trade unions. However, a series of restrictive 
measures imposed by the Government have significantly reduced 
the range of issues left for bargaining. In February 1987, 
the National Economic Emergency Decree of 1985, which granted 
the Federal Government broad authority over labor matters, was 
extended for 2 more years. The Government transferred to 
state governments the power to deduct special levies 
involuntarily from the salaries of workers for financing state 
development projects. The nationwide wage freeze, an 
anti-inflation measure, was imposed in 1984 and lifted in 
1987. Also, in 1987 the Government reestablished the 
requirement, in the Minimum Wage Act, that the minimum wage 
must be paid to employees in companies with 50 or more 
employees. (It had amended the Act in 1986 to require the 
minimum wage scale only in companies with more than 500 
employees . ) 

Work stoppages and strikes are allowed by law (except in 
essential services), but few occurred during 1987. In June 
seven public service unions representing civil service 
employees of Bendel state went on strike because the state 
government was not meeting its financial obligations to its 
employees and retirees. The NLC supported the striking civil 
servants, and the Federal Government moved quickly to achieve 
a settlement. In October some 40 petroleum workers seized 
control of an offshore oil rig and locked their expatriate 
supervisors in their quarters for 2 days because their 
employer, a Nigerian company, had refused to turn over union 
dues to union representatives. The dispute was defused 
without government intervention when management agreed to 
accept the demands of the workers. The 1976 Trade Disputes 
Decree provides for mediation of such disputes by an 
industrial arbitration panel and a national industrial court, 
and forbids strikes and lockouts while disputes are under 
mediation. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Nigeria's 1979 Constitution prohibits the Federal and state 
governments from adopting any religion as a state religion. 
This is adhered to in practice. Constitutional provisions 
guaranteeing freedom of religious belief, religious practice, 
and religious education are generally respected. Allegations 
persist of harassment of Christians by officials in 
predominantly Muslim areas of northern Nigeria in the form of 
bureaucratic obstacles to church construction that delay 
projects, sometimes indefinitely. There are no restrictions 
on numbers of clergy trained nor on contacts with 
coreligionists in other countries. Religious travel, 
including the hajj, is permitted and in some cases officially 
supported. Missionaries and foreign clergy, though limited by 
quotas, are permitted to work in Nigeria. Some states require 
licenses for religious services outside churches and mosques. 

Tensions between the Muslim and Christian communities of 
Nigeria escalated in March 1987 to several days of violent 



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rioting in the northern state of Kaduna . The Government 
announced a death toll of 19, along with the destruction of 
162 churches, 5 mosques, and 152 private homes. The Government 
created a special civil disturbances tribunal to try persons 
arrested by a joint police-military investigative panel. The 
Government also announced a ban, still in effect, on all 
religious organizations on postprimary campuses, while 
reaffirming the right of individual students to practice their 
religion in recognized places of worship. Several state 
governments temporarily banned religious preaching and playing 
of religious cassettes outside places of worship without the 
written permission of police. Publication of advertisements 
paid for by religious organizations remains banned, and 
religious programming on radio and television remains limited 
in some areas. The Minister of Internal Affairs announced 
that no new religious organizations could be formed without 
approval from one of two designated religious bodies, one 
Muslim and one Christian. In July the Government launched an 
advisory council on religious affairs, comprised of equal 
numbers of Christian and Muslim leaders. 

The 1982 ban on the Maitatsine religious sect remains in 
effect. The group still exists but is closely monitored by 
the police. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Nigeria's Constitution entitles citizens to move freely 
throughout Nigeria and to reside where they wish. The same 
provision prohibits expulsion from Nigeria or the denial of 
entry to or exit from Nigeria to any citizen. In general, 
these provisions have been observed. Nigerians travel abroad 
in large numbers, and many thousands are studying abroad. 
Exit visas are not required. Citizens who leave Nigeria have 
the right to return. Citizenship cannot be revoked for any 
reason, including political reasons, from persons who are 
citizens by birth or registration. Fifty-seven naturalized 
Nigerians, however, had their citizenship revoked in 1987 for 
alleged irregularities in the naturalization process. No 
known penalties have been levied on Nigerians who have 
emigrated, settled abroad, or acquired another nationality. 
However, Nigeria does not recognize dual nationality, and 
naturalization in another country does not release Nigerians 
from Nigerian laws. 

Nigerians are free to change their place of work within 
Nigeria, but local laws sometimes disadvantage citizens not 
indigenous to the area. For example, access to limited places 
in elementary and secondary schools is more difficult for 
children of such citizens who must also pay higher school fees 
than the children of citizens of the area. There has been no 
forced resettlement of Nigerian citizens. 

Nigerian law and practice permit temporary refuge and asylum 
in Nigeria for political refugees from other countries. 
Nigeria supports and cooperates with the Lagos office of the 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) . 
Repatriation of refugees is normally conducted in accordance 
with UNHCR standards. In 1987 several hundred Chadian 
refugees were repatriated at their request as were an 
undetermined number of persons allegedly refugees from Libya. 
No refugees were expelled in 1987. 



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NIGERIA 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The 30-member Armed Forces Ruling Council headed by President 
Babangida is the highest political authority in Nigeria. 
There is no elected legislative body, and political parties 
are prohibited. In 1987 citizens did not have the right to 
change their national or state governments through the 
electoral process. However, democratic elections for local 
government officials were held in December. 

In July President Babangida announced 1992 as the date for 
returning Nigeria to civilian rule. The Government based its 
program for transition to civilian rule on the recommendations 
of the civilian Political Bureau which conducted a nationwide, 
year-long public debate on Nigeria's political future during 
1986 and presented its findings to the AFRC in April 1987. 
While many of the Bureau's recommendations were accepted, the 
Government rejected or amended many other significant 
provisions, especially on socioeconomic policy. An appointed 
civilian Constitutional Review Commission is expected to 
propose to the 1988 constituent assembly a draft constitution 
closely resembling Nigeria's 1979 Constitution. The Government 
has recommended incorporation of one major change which calls 
for a two-party rather than a multiparty system. Six political 
parties participated in the last elections in 1983. 

As a first step in the transition process, free elections for 
local government councils were held on a nonpartisan basis in 
December, although malpractices and administrative problems 
resulted in cancellation of elections in about 5 percent of 
the nation's constituencies. Byelections are planned for 
early 1988. All citizens 18 years and older were eligible to 
vote. Dates have been set for additional elections in the 
run-up to 1992, but many former politicians are banned from 
contesting. A civilian National Electoral Commission was 
appointed in August to administer the elections. Also, a 
civilian Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) was appointed 
to review the 1979 Constitution. The CRC solicited input from 
the general public, as had the civilian Political Bureau, as 
the basis for its recommendations to a constitutional 
constituent assembly scheduled for 1988. 

Thousands of former Nigerian Government officials, both 
civilian and military, are prohibited from participating in 
the transition process, although they remain eligible to 
vote. In September 1987, the Government significantly 
extended a ban announced in 1986 on partisan political 
activity for a large number of former politicians from the 
last civilian regime (1979-83) to include many political 
figures from the first civilian republic (1960-66) and past 
and present high-ranking military leaders. These persons, 
including President Babangida himself, will be barred from 
contesting any election until after the transition is 
completed in 1992. Also, former politicians will be forbidden 
to join any political party until that time. Furthermore, any 
person convicted or removed from office for various misdeeds 
at any time since 1960 will be banned for life from contesting 
elections or holding any political party office. 

Along with the announcement in July of the political 
transition program, the Government promulgated Decree 19 of 
1987, the Transition to Civil Rule (Political Programme) 
Decree. This Decree makes persons who might in any way 
forestall or prejudice the transition program liable to a 



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NIGERIA 

prison term of up to 5 years. This applies to persons who: 
seek to undermine the realization of the transition program; 
take part in forming a political body prior to the lifting of 
Decree 9 (1984); or encourage others to join them in 
misrepresenting or distorting the provisions of the transition 
program. The special tribunal authorized to try offenses 
under the Decree was formed in October. Its decisions may be 
appealed to the Special Appeal Tribunal. 

The composition of the AFRC and Cabinet reflects greater 
ethnic and religious diversity than any government in the 
recent past. There are currently no women on the AFRC or in 
the Federal Cabinet, although some women serve as permanent 
secretaries in cabinet departments and as commissioners in 
state governments. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

There were no investigations of alleged human rights 
violations in Nigeria during 1987 by any international or 
nongovernmental agency. In 1987 the Babangida Government 
repeatedly renewed its pledge to uphold basic human rights and 
tolerated criticism from local human rights advocates. It did 
not interfere with local human rights organizations. The 
Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 
monitors the domestic human rights situation and 
characteristically speaks out against human rights abuses. 
The NBA president, following announcement of the ban on former 
politicians, publicly questioned the legality of the move. At 
least two other groups also monitor human rights practices in 
Nigeria: The Council of Human Rights, an independent 
organization formed in late 1985, and Citizens for Human 
Rights. The former president of the NBA and chairman of its 
Human Rights Committee continues to hold the post of Attorney 
General and Minister of Justice. Amnesty International 
maintains an office in Lagos and has active chapters 
throughout the country, both on university campuses and among 
civil servants. Its annual human rights report is publicized 
in the Nigerian press. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

There is no official policy of systematic discrimination among 
Nigeria's 250 ethnic groups, and laws do not overtly favor one 
group over another. The Government generally makes a conscious 
effort to strike a balance among different groups in its 
decisionmaking and in appointments to key governmental 
positions. However, Nigeria has a long history of tension 
among the diverse ethnic groups, and tradition continues to 
impose considerable pressure on individual government 
officials to favor their own ethnic or religious group. 
Allegations of religious and ethnic favoritism or harassment 
persist . 

State-of-origin hiring quotas are observed in most public 
sector employment. Also, persons whose family is not 
indigenous to their state of residence frequently experience 
difficulty in job-seeking, school enrollment, and other areas. 

Women have always had economic power and have exerted 
influence in Nigerian society through women's councils or 
through their family connections. As primary school 



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NIGERIA 

enrollments increase, women are gaining greater access to 
education. There has been a dramatic increase in the number 
of women who have university degrees and who have become 
professionals, including teachers, lawyers, doctors, judges, 
senior government officials, media figures, and business 
executives. Despite a degree of economic independence, women 
suffer discrimination in employment and other areas, 
experience social prejudice, and have virtually no 
representatives in the political arena. The pattern of 
discrimination against women varies according to the ethnic 
and religious diversity of Nigeria's vast population. In some 
states, husbands can prevent their wives from obtaining 
employment or passports. In many states, a widow cannot 
inherit her husband's property, which in the absence of 
children usually reverts to the husband's family. Women do 
not receive egual pay for equal work, and male professionals 
receive fringe benefits not extended to their female 
counterparts. Female circumcision, which has never become a 
major public issue, is still practiced in many areas, as is 
the selling of young girls for marriage by poor rural families. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Nigeria's 1974 Labor Decree prescribes a 40-hour workweek, 2 
to 4 weeks of annual leave, and other conditions of 
employment. The National Minimum Wage Act of 1981 set the 
national minimum wage at 125 Naira, or about $150, per month 
in 1981. With the minimum wage remaining constant, the 
progressive devaluation of the local currency over the past 
several years has resulted in a significant reduction in 
workers' purchasing power. The 125 Naira are now equal to 
about $27 per month, which is not sufficient to provide a 
decent standard of living and requires persons to supplement 
income through second jobs, extended-family assistance, etc. 
Under the Government wage freeze guidelines which were revised 
on December 31, 1987, annual increases are allowed at the 1984 
rate, the traditional 13th month holiday gratuity payment to 
employees is allowed, and improvements in fringe benefits in 
the private sector must be approved by the Government. 

The labor law prohibits employment of children under 15 in 
commerce and industry, restricts other child labor to 
home-based agricultural or domestic work, and allows the 
apprenticeship of youths aged 13-15 only under specified 
conditions. It contains general health and safety provisions, 
some aimed specifically at young and female workers, 
enforceable by the Ministry of Employment, Labour, and 
Productivity. Employers must compensate injured workers and 
dependent survivors of those fatally injured in industrial 
accidents. The ineffectiveness of the Ministry in enforcing 
these laws in the workplace is regularly criticized by labor 
unions . 



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RWANDA 



Major General Juvenal Habyarimana has headed the Government 
since his accession to power in a nonviolent coup in 1973. He 
was confirmed as President in a national referendum in 1978. 
He is also the founder of the single party, the National 
Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND) . Government 
policy is set by the President in consultation with the party's 
Central Committee and the Council of Ministers. Laws are 
ratified by the National Development Council (the legislature), 
which was established in 1982 but does not have any real 
independence from the MRND. In December 1983, President 
Habyarimana, the sole candidate, was reelected along with a 
new slate of deputies. Although the legislative candidates 
had to be approved by the party, the race was open to almost 
all who chose to run. 

The major organizations responsible for administration of 
justice include the Ministry of Justice, which controls the 
courts, the judicial police, and the prison system; and the 
gendarmerie, a paramilitary force which receives specialized 
police training. In addition, the Central Intelligence 
Service in the Office of the President can make certain 
decisions which may not be appealed, such as denial of 
passports to Rwandan citizens or the extension of visas and 
residence permits to foreigners. 

Most Rwandans are poor rural farmers. There is little 
industry, and imports are expensive because of high 
transportation costs. Food production has managed to keep 
pace with the high population growth rate. Rwanda's major 
exports are coffee and tea, and the Government has a liberal 
approach to trade and investment. 

Although the Constitution provides for a number of fundamental 
human rights, there are restrictions in practice on the right 
to fair public trial, the right of citizens to change their 
government, and freedom of speech, association, and religion. 
The most significant human rights development in 1987 was the 
July prisoner amnesty decreed by the President during the 
country's observance of its 25th anniversary of independence. 
The amnesty included the release of all women and minors 
serving sentences of 20 years or less, and of all other 
prisoners sentenced to 10 years or less; the commutation of 
death sentences to life imprisonment; and the reduction of 
life sentences to 20 years. However, none of the amnesty 
measures applied to seven political prisoners convicted by the 
Court of State Security of crimes against domestic security. 
The amnesty also released the 295 members of certain religious 
sects, convicted in 1986 of charges relating to observance of 
their religion. The Government indicated that in the future 
it intends to resolve such problems with religious groups 
through discussion with those concerned. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of politically motivated killings or 
summary executions. 



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RWANDA 

b. Disappearance 

There were no unexplained disappearances in 1987. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There were no reports of torture in 1987. In the past. Amnesty 
International (AI) has noted allegations of torture made in 
court by political prisoners, involving forced confessions and 
electrical shocks, but AI also noted the Minister of Justice's 
efforts to punish security and police officials found to have 
mistreated prisoners. 

The President launched a prison reform program in 1984 aimed 
at improving living conditions, providing vocational training 
for prisoners, and establishing work programs under which 
prisoners earn money to be credited to them upon release. 
While these programs have met with success, prison conditions 
remain generally poor, and guard training is inadequate. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Except for suspects caught in the act of committing crimes, 
arrests are made with a warrant following investigation. 
There were no known exceptions in 1987 to the legally mandated 
warrant procedures. In most cases, charges must be stated 
formally in the defendant's presence within 5 days of arrest. 
Failure to meet this requirement is grounds for dismissal of 
the charges. 

Under broad preventive detention provisions, persons may be 
held for 30 days if public safety is believed to be threatened, 
if the accused might flee, or if the penalty carries a minimum 
sentence of 6 months. At the end of that period, a judicial 
review is mandatory, following which, detention can be 
prolonged indefinitely for 30-day periods. These provisions 
were rarely invoked during 1987. Detainees may appeal their 
incarceration, and the appeal must be heard within 24 hours by 
a competent judicial authority. Ministry of Justice personnel 
conduct daily official visits to prisons to assure that proper 
documentation exists for each detainee. These officials can 
release detainees if arrest conditions do not conform to the 
law. 

AI reports that a former army captain has been detained for 14 
months without trial. The Minister of Justice informed AI that 
the officer is accused of subversion, but he gave no details 
of the allegations. This was the only known detention for 
political offenses in 1987. 

Sentencing to exile does not exist. Forced labor is prohibited 
in law and practice. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The judiciary is statutorily independent and expected to apply 
the penal code impartially, but the President appoints and 
dismisses magistrates. Laws passed in 1982 strengthened the 
independence of the judiciary by improving the process of 
selecting judicial personnel and more closely defining their 
functions. The administration of justice has been hampered by 
poor management and a generally low level of education among 
civil servants. The Ministry of Justice is conducting 
training programs for officials and judges and plans to 



235 



RWANDA 

establish a magistrate training center. In 1987 over 650 
magistrates participated in two seminars organized by the 
Ministry, and another 30 magistrates took part in a more 
intensive 9-month training program. 

All defendants are constitutionally entitled to counsel, but 
due to a shortage of lawyers many defendants are not 
represented at trial. Family and other nonprofessional 
counsel is permitted. Trials are public, and those which 
arouse extensive public interest are often broadcast to the 
street to permit persons who cannot be seated in the courtroom 
to follow the proceedings. 

Rwanda has three separate court systems for criminal/civil, 
military, and state security cases. All but security cases 
ultimately may be appealed to the Court of Appeals. Convicted 
criminals must file an appeal within 3 months of the date of 
judgment. In April 1987, the President criticized the practice 
of some judges to delay and back-date the issuance of court 
opinions, effectively eliminating the possibility of an appeal. 
He ordered the implementation of administrative procedure to 
stop such abuses. The State Security Court has jurisdiction 
over national security charges such as treason. 

The Minister of Justice stated in September 1986 that Rwanda 
was holding 10 prisoners convicted of crimes against domestic 
security. Three of these were released in 1987 after 
completing their sentences, leaving seven political prisoners 
at the end of 1987. This figure includes the former chief of 
State Security, who along with four codefendants was convicted 
of murder and sentenced to death in 1985. The appeals process 
in their cases is still in progress, and it is uncertain 
whether the death sentences will be carried out. AI in its 
1986 Report noted its concern that he and other former 
government officials were tried in secret, apparently without 
counsel, and that the trials did not meet accepted 
international standards. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Rwandans are subject to occasional interference in their 
private lives. Police normally are required to have warrants 
before entering a private residence but, using the pretext of 
checking required documentation, authorities can gain entry 
into homes without warrants. There is no evidence that the 
Government monitors private correspondence, and the receipt of 
foreign publications is permitted. Rwandans have the right to 
own property. 

All Rwandese are required to be members of the MRND and to pay 
dues to it. Failure to participate in the MRND was one of the 
charges made against the religious sects in 1986. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Statutory assurances of freedom of speech and press often are 
not observed. Public criticism of the government ministers 
and their dependents has increased this year, apparently 
reflecting the President's series of unusally frank speeches 
critical of public administration, but public criticism of the 
military remains rare, and of the President nonexistent. 
Candidates in the 1983 legislative elections were restricted 



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RWANDA 

to expressing opinions and advocating policies sanctioned by 
party doctrine. Members of the National Development Council 
do criticize government policies from the floor of the Council. 

The Government produces radio broadcasts, a daily press 
bulletin, and a weekly newspaper. Two Catholic church 
publications sometimes print muted criticism of political and 
economic conditions. Such criticism is tolerated and 
occasionally even encouraged by the Government. There is no 
record of any journalist having been arrested for what he has 
written. The Government has cautioned the press, however, to 
avoid what it regards as "harmful" criticism of leaders and 
maintains that the press should devote its efforts to 
"promoting development." Books and imported publications are 
not censored, and academic freedom of inquiry and research is 
respected at the university. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Freedom of assembly is limited. No public meetings or 
demonstrations are permitted if there is any chance they will 
result in expressions of overt opposition to government 
policies. The Government permits private associations, but 
requires that they be officially recognized nonprofit 
organizations . 

The Government is organizing a new labor union, the Central 
Union of Rwandan Workers (CESTRAR) . The first training 
session for CESTRAR delegates was held in August and delegates 
urged the rapid implementation of the Union's organizational 
structure. The Union will be integrated into the sole 
political party, the MRND, although membership (open to all 
salaried workers) will be optional. In theory, members will 
have the right to strike, but only with the approval of the 
Executive Bureau. Other workers' associations will no longer 
have the right to exist independently, but will have to 
affiliate with CESTRAR. Thus, the right to organize 
"professional organizations," granted by the Rwandan labor 
code, and to engage in collective bargaining with employers 
must be exercised within the framework of the central union. 
CESTRAR's provisional organizers contend that having a variety 
of different labor organizations might threaten national unity. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Freedom of religion is provided for in the Constitution. The 
population is 70 percent Christian and 1 percent Muslim, with 
the remainder following traditional African or no religious 
practices. Eighty percent of the Christians are Roman 
Catholic, but there are active Protestant denominations. The 
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kigali, who had been a member of 
the MRND Central Committee, resigned from the Committee in 
January 1986, apparently to bring his status into accord with 
Vatican doctrine. The Government depends upon church- 
sponsored schools for a considerable portion of education in 
Rwanda (over 85 percent of secondary schools are church 
sponsored) . 

The Government has in the past imprisoned members of 
unrecognized religious sects, including the Jehovah's 
Witnesses. In 1987, however, the Government's attitude toward 
the several religious sects improved. The President amnestied 
the 295 members of four sects--including 11 members aged 18 or 
less--sentenced in 1986 (in many cases to 10-year terms) for 
offenses related to the observance of their religion. The 



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RWANDA 

Government indicated that in the future it would pursue a 
dialogue with such groups to resolve differences. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Freedom of movement and residence within Rwanda is restricted 
by laws and regulations which require people to hold national 
identity cards and residence and work permits. People who wish 
to spend more than 3 days in a township other than their own 
must obtain permission from the authorities of the area they 
will be visiting. Police conduct periodic checks, especially 
in urban areas, and return all those not registered in the 
locality to their own township. Property owners who do not 
require tenants to show valid documentation are subject to 
fines and even imprisonment. "Clandestine" tenants are 
subject to expulsion. 

A major deterrent to foreign travel was eliminated in 1987, 
when the Government abolished the requirement for posting 
substantial deposits (as much as $600) with passport 
applications. Applicants now need only to pay a small <$20) 
nonrefundable fee. Foreign travel is controlled by means of a 
security check of all passport applicants conducted by the 
Central Intelligence Service, but unexplained refusals appear 
less frequent than in the past. Properly documented Rwandans 
may emigrate. 

Official policy permits people who left Rwanda as refugees 
during the revolution or for other reasons to be repatriated 
on a case-by-case basis, but the Government discourages any 
mass return on the grounds that the overpopulated land and 
underdeveloped economy could not sustain the burden. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Rwandans have no opportunity to change their government through 
a free choice of alternative candidates from opposing parties. 
The MRND, the sole body permitted political activity, makes 
all policy decisions and nominates all candidates for public 
office. It in turn is dominated by its President, who also 
holds the position of Secretary-General of the MRND. He 
chooses the Central Committee and is the only constitutionally 
recognized candidate for President. Every citizen is 
automatically a party member and is required to pay party dues 
representing 2 days' pay per year. Delegates are both elected 
and appointed to the party's governing National Congress, 
which meets every 2 years. The essential function of the 
Congress is to endorse the programs presented by the party 
leadership. 

Only candidates approved by the party may run for the 
legislature, the National Development Council. The President 
also can veto candidates for the Council. Within the one-party 
system, the voters can and sometimes do defeat incumbents in 
elections . 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

Rwanda has made a concerted effort in recent years to 
participate in human rights activities and to improve its 
human rights record. There were no reports of requests for 



238 



RWANDA 

outside investigations of alleged human rights violations in 
1987, although the Government, before the July amnesty, 
received many letters protesting the incarceration of members 
of unrecognized religious sects, particularly Jehovah's 
Witnesses . 

Representatives of the International Committee of the Red 
Cross (ICRC) made a regular visit to prisons and spent 3 weeks 
in Rwanda in the fall of 1987. A delegation from AT visited 
Rwanda May 3-10, 1986, and received extensive cooperation from 
the Government. The delegation visited a number of prisons, 
interviewed prisoners, including political prisoners, and met 
with the President, the Minister of Justice, and many other 
officials. As a result of this visit, AI submitted to the 
Government its observations and recommendations. In December 
1986, the Government responded with comments, referring to 
safeguards already introduced to prevent arbitrary detention 
and the use of torture. 

Rwanda is a signatory to the International Covenants on 
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and 
Political Rights and the African Charter of Human and Peoples' 
Rights. Rwanda is also a member of the U.N. Human Rights 
Commission. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

In 1959 the majority Hutu ethnic group (89 percent of the 
population according to the 1978 census) overthrew the monarchy 
of the Tutsi ethnic group (10 percent of the population). In 
1962 the Belgians granted internal autonomy and then 
independence to a Hutu government which had overwhelmingly won 
a U. N . -supervised election. This revolution against the Tutsi 
marked the end of the traditional, feudal society in which the 
Hutu had lived for centuries and the beginning of a more modern 
society that places greater emphasis on individual rights. 
During the next decade, Hutu efforts to redress the social, 
economic, and educational discrimination they had suffered 
under Tutsi rule, led to division and corruption among the 
Hutus and to sporadic ethnic strife. This gave rise to the 
coup d'etat which brought President Habyarimana, a Hutu, to 
power . 

The Constitution states that "all citizens are equal before 
the law, without any discrimination, notably that of race, 
color, origin, ethnicity, clan, sex, opinion, religion, or 
social position." However, the requirement that ethnic origin 
be listed on identity documents helps to ensure that informal 
quotas corresponding to the Hutu/Tutsi ratio in society are 
not exceeded. The Tutsi minority has in fact been relegated 
to a minor role in government, civil service, and the military 
but is better represented in private business. 

Following the Government's steps to restrict the activities of 
some religious groups, there have been indications of 
discrimination based on religious affiliation. For example, 
one high ranking government official reportedly was threatened 
with arrest because of his membership in the Jehovah's 
Witnesses sect, and three Witnesses were fired from the 
Ministry of Transport and Communication for their religious 
beliefs . 

Women perform most of the agricultural labor and have 
benefited less than men from social development. Despite the 



239 



RWANDA 

language in the Constitution, women's rights to property are 
limited, and women are not treated equally in divorce 
proceedings. Moreover, women have fewer chances for education, 
employment, and promotion, often because society expects them 
to remain in uneducated, traditional roles at home. Family 
planning services still are inadequate but are improving. 
There are few organizations promoting women's interests, and 
efforts to establish a national women's organization within 
the party have been unsuccessful to date. Women play a 
marginal role in political life. Nevertheless, there are now 
3 women in the party's 21-member Central Committee, and 9 
women among the 70 legislative deputies. There are also a 
number of women on councils at the local level. The Rwandan 
family code currently is being revised. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

In the wage sector, which comprises only 7 percent of the work 
force, children under 18 are not permitted to work without 
their parents' or guardian's authorization, and they may work 
at night only under exceptional circumstances on a temporary 
basis. The Minister responsible for labor affairs may grant 
work permission to a child under 14. He also sets the minimum 
wage and overtime rates. The current minimum wage is 
approximately $1.50 per day. Hours of work and occupational 
health and safety in the modern wage sector are controlled by 
law and enforced by labor inspectors. 



240 



SAO TOME & PRINCIPE* 



Sao Tome and Principe has been a one-party state since gaining 
independence from Portugal in July 1975. Effective political 
power is concentrated in the Presidency and the party, the 
Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Principe (MLSTP) . 
The country is composed of two small islands off the west 
coast of Africa with a total population of just over 100,000. 
At independence, Manuel Pinto da Costa, the leader of the 
MLSTP, was chosen to be President by the party and the Popular 
Assembly, constitutionally the supreme organ of state and 
highest legislative body, in an uncontested election. The 
party reconfirmed him for a third 5-year term in September 
1985. 

There are approximately 75 Cuban technical advisers, and the 
small Sao Tomean army is reinforced by 500 troops from 
Angola. Small opposition groups in exile in Portugal and 
Gabon have thus far shown no evidence of being able to 
influence events on the islands. 

In the past the Government drew heavily on Marxist-Leninist 
principles, but with a deteriorating economic situation state 
control has been reduced and the private sector strengthened. 
The steady decline in cocoa exports, which account for 90 
percent of Sao Tome's exports, reflected both lower world 
prices and serious management problems on the nationalized 
plantations. Inadequate rainfall since 1983 has further 
reduced the production of all crops, resulting in serious food 
shortages and the need for food assistance from the United 
States and other Western countries. President da Costa 
reaffirmed in July 1987 the determination of his Government 
to follow rigorous International Monetary Fund reform 
prescriptions in an effort to reinvigorate the flagging 
economy. 

There was little known change in the overall human rights 
situation in 1987. However, President da Costa announced in 
July that local cooperatives and professional associations 
could now nominate candidates for election to the Popular 
Assembly. This move could modestly widen political 
participation within the one-party system. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of politically motivated killings. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of politically motivated disappearance. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

No reports of such abuses were received in 1987. 



*There is no American Embassy in Sao Tome. Information on the 
human rights situation is therefore limited. 



241 



SAO TOME & PRINCIPE 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Although in the past some Sao Tomeans have been arrested and 
detained without trial for public criticism of the Government, 
there were no reports of such abuses in 1987. 

According to the Government, the several opposition politicians 
living in exile, e.g., former Prime Minister Miguel Trovoada, 
and former Minister of Health Carlos da Graca (see Section 3), 
are free to return. 

In March 1987, UNICEF's representative in Sao Tome was 
arrested by Sao Tomaen security forces and charged with the 
murder of his wife. Consular representatives of the arrested 
official's country were denied access to him, and repeated 
protests by high United Nations officials were ignored; other 
U.N. officials who tried to visit the UNICEF official were 
roughed up. The official was released in May 1987 after 
high-level intervention by his Government. 

There have been no reports of the use of forced labor. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Justice is administered at the highest level by the Supreme 
Tribunal, named by and responsible to the Popular Assembly. 
Lower tribunals are appointed to try military cases. 

The Constitution does not address the right to a public trial, 
but there have been instances of public trials of persons 
accused of common crimes in recent years. Criminal trials are 
occasionally reported by the local media. In most cases, 
however, common criminals are given a hearing and are 
sentenced by a judge. To date, the only political prisoners 
given trials were those accused of plotting a coup in 1977. 
In those trials and in criminal trials since that time, the 
accused were assigned counsel by the Government. There is no 
tradition of independent defense counsel. 

As of the end- of 1987, the Government claimed that it held no 
political prisoners. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Because of Sao Tome's geographic isolation and its small 
population, the Government does not have a highly intrusive 
security system to detect opposition opinion. However, the 
Government's loosely organized system of informers and its 
monitoring of political activities ensure that potential 
dissidents are identified. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The security services are alert and react quickly to public 
expressions of opposition or dissatisfaction with the 
Government. All Sao Tomean media are government organs. They 
consist of one television station which broadcasts 2 days per 
week; a radio station which carries music, government news 
releases, and instructional programs; and a weekly two-to-four 
page newspaper of government news releases. No public written 
criticism of the Government seems to be tolerated, but oral 
criticism at party-sponsored meetings exists. The only 



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SAO TOME & PRINCIPE 

foreign wire service items are occasional pieces from Soviet 
and Angolan sources. Voice of America Portuguese language 
programs reach Sao Tome and are listened to without 
interference. Sao Tome Radio also uses VGA taped music 
programs . 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

In the past, political assembly and activity were legal only 
within the country's sole political party, the MLSTP. 
Recently, however, President da Costa announced that Sao 
Tomaens could form cooperative and professional associations 
unaffiliated with the party, and that such organizations could 
nominate candidates for election to the Popular Assembly. 
Cultural and social organizations require government approval, 
which is believed to be easily obtained. 

The sole trade union, affiliated with the party, exists mainly 
on paper. There is no explicit legislation forbidding strikes, 
but it is doubtful that strikes would be permitted by the 
Government. There is no information currently available on 
whether collective bargaining is legally permitted. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution. The 
three religious communit ies--Roman Catholic, Evangelical 
Protestant, and Seventh-Day Adventist-are allowed to practice 
freely. The Government provides some funding for a school and 
a social services center managed by the Catholic Church. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

The geographic isolation and poverty of the country severely 
limit foreign travel and emigration. In addition, the 
Government closely controls exit visas for the few people who 
travel. Almost all trips outside the islands are for 
governmental missions or medical evacuation. Domestic travel 
is not controlled by the Government, and people move freely on 
the islands of Sao Tome and Principe. The lack of reliable 
and affordable air service severely limits interisland travel. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The present political system makes no provision for change of 
government through the electoral process. Government policy 
is determined by President da Costa, in consultation with his 
key cabinet and security officials. The leadership uses the 
MLSTP to consolidate its rule at the local level and to assist 
in selecting candidates for the Popular Assembly. 
Nevertheless, President da Costa has embarked on a political 
opening intended to widen the political debate on the island 
and encourage participation. He has called for the formation 
of local cooperatives and professional associations--without 
stipulating that the organizations be affiliated with the 
party--and announced that such organizations will be permitted 
to nominate candidates for election to the Popular Assembly. 
Recent constitutional changes stipulate that the President and 
Members of the Popular Assembly are to be elected through 
universal suffrage and that voting will be done by secret 
ballot. 



243 



SAO TOME & PRINCIPE 

There are small exile groups in Portugal and Gabon. In May 
1986, former Minister of Health Carlos da Graca resigned the 
chairmanship of the National Resistance Front of Sao Tome and 
Principe (FRNSTP) based in Libreville, saying that the recent 
economic liberalization by the Government and its opening to 
moderate African states made his further leadership of the 
FRNSTP unnecessary. Da Graca said he would remain in exile 
until Angolan troops withdrew from the country. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights. 

The extent to which the Government is aware of, or influenced 
by, international human rights organizations is not known. On 
May 23, 1986, Sao Tome and Principe ratified the African 
Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

The Sao Tome population is relatively homogeneous, and there 
have been no reports of policy discrimination on a tribal, 
regional, sex, or religious basis among Sao Tomean citizens. 
As energetic outsiders. Cape Verdeans in Sao Tome do suffer 
some informal discrimination. 

Women have constitutional assurances of eguality, and several 
are active in public life. The President of the Popular 
(National) Assembly is a woman. There are at least two female 
members of the Central Committee of the party. Cultural 
factors, rather than legal restraints, limit the actual 
participation of women in government. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Legislation requires that a minimum wage of approximately $55 
per month be paid to workers. There were reports that workers 
at several cocoa estates were not paid for several months or 
did not receive the minimum wage for an extended period of 
time. A legal minimum employment age of 18 years is apparently 
observed in practice. Basic occupational health and safety 
standards are contained in the Social Security Law of 1979. 
It is not known to what extent they are enforced. 



244 



SENEGAL 

Senegal is a republic with a democratically elected president 
and a unicameral legislature. After acceding automatically to 
the presidency in January 1981, when former President Senghor 
retired, Abdou Diouf was elected in his own right in the 
regularly scheduled general elections of February 1983. A new 
legislature was elected at the same time, with President 
Diouf's Socialist Party (PS) winning 111 of the 120 seats. 
Senegal has longstanding democratic traditions which predate 
independence, and there is wide public interest in, and debate 
on, political matters. While Senegal is a multiparty state 
with 17 legal political parties, the Socialist Party has been 
dominant and controlled the Government since independence from 
France in 1960. 

The Senegalese military (about 12,000 personnel) has a 
well-earned reputation as an apolitical and professional 
organization and is respected by the population. There are 
also about 3,000 paramilitary gendarmes. Civilian security 
forces are fairly well trained and generally respect the laws 
they enforce. 

Although the Government and the ruling party describe the 
national economy as Socialist, recent economic reforms include 
an effort by the Government to reduce its involvement in many 
sectors of the economy. This includes plans to sell off all 
or part of most state-owned enterprises and to encourage 
private initiatives in agriculture and industry. However, 
wages have been frozen for several years while prices for 
agricultural products and consumer goods keep rising. As the 
nation faces general elections in February 1988, there is 
growing concern about the political impact of the economic 
reform program. 

Trends in observance of human rights remain generally 
positive. The legal system is active and effective in 
protecting human rights. Concerns remain about the impact of 
the electoral laws on the fairness of the election process. 
The Government continues to provide strong support to 
Dakar-based and regional organizations which promote respect 
for human rights in Africa and the Third World. In the 
southernmost region of Casamance, a small, armed, ethnic-based 
separatist group intermittently engages in various clandestine 
activities and sporadically attacks military personnel. At 
the end of 1987, three persons who were arrested in late 1986 
for involvement in Casamance unrest awaited trial before the 
Security Court. Over 140 others who had been detained were 
released without charge. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There was no evidence of any killings at government instigation 
or for political motives. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of abduction of individuals by official, 
quasi-official, opposition, or vigilante groups. 



245 



SENEGAL 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Government officials in Senegal generally adhere to the 
section of the criminal code prohibiting physical abuse. 
There are, however, instances of the use of force by police 
officials in the interrogation of suspected criminals. In 
April seven policemen were found guilty of complicity in the 
1983 death of a suspect from beating. When other policemen 
went on strike to demand the Government release their 
colleagues, the Government reacted firmly, emphasizing that 
the courts were independent of the administration and were 
correctly applying the law. Family members claim that a delay 
in access to the detainee prevented him from receiving timely 
medical care which might have saved his life. 

In its 1987 Report, Amnesty International stated that, in 
connection with the separatist riots in Casamance in 1982 and 
1983, a number of those brought to trial were alleged to have 
been tortured or ill-treated after arrest and that at least 
seven prisoners died before the trial. However, no formal 
inquiries into the allegations or inquests were undertaken by 
the authorities, who assert that no complaints were received 
from either friends or family of those allegedly tortured. 
There have been no criminal or civil suits resulting from the 
Casamance disorders. 

Harsh prison conditions are partly alleviated by the access to 
prisoners by clerics, friends, and families, who are expected 
to provide food and amenities. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The constitutional prohibition against arbitrary arrest or 
detention is respected in practice. Persons are not generally 
detained, punished, or tried for the expression of views 
critical of or different from the Government. There are, 
however, laws prohibiting personal attacks against the Chief 
of State or the institutions of the Republic. The major 
opposition political leader was charged in March under these 
provisions for comments he made in an interview in August 
1985. He was immediately released on bond, and his case is 
still pending. He has remained politically active in the 
meantime. 

The Senegalese legal system is patterned after the French 
system. A person suspected of a crime may be legally held 
without charge for 48 hours after arrest and may be held up to 
72 hours if ordered by a public prosecutor. Temporary 
custody, which replaced "preventive custody" in 1985, is 
permitted when civil authorities determine that there is a 
threat of civil disturbance or that an individual is a threat 
to himself or others. Temporary custody is initially valid 
for a maximum period of 6 months but may be renewed for 
further 6 month periods if the investigating magistrate 
certifies that additional time is required to complete the 
investigation. These laws are generally respected by law 
enforcement officials, and charges are formally and clearly 
drawn. By law, every person has access to legal counsel 
during every step of the legal process. In practice, persons 
with means will have private legal counsel. The court 
appoints public defenders for indigents charged with felonies. 

Amnesty International stated in its 1987 Report that further 
arrests took place in the Casamance region in November and' 



246 



SENEGAL 

December 1986. At the end of 1987, three persons were 
awaiting trial for separatist activities conrimitted in 1986. 

There is no forced or compulsory labor in Senegal. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Senegal has an active and well-trained judiciary, which is 
constitutionally independent of the executive, the 
legislature, and the military. Court officials are lawyers 
who have completed a number of years of required 
apprenticeship. Trials are open to the public, and defendants 
have the right to a defense attorney. Ordinary courts hold — 
hearings which are presided over by a panel of judges and, in 
the case of criminal charges, include a panel of citizens as a 
form of jury. Magistrates are appointed by decree, and judges 
are not subject to governmental supervision. However, there 
are recurrent allegations that the courts are not immune to 
government pressure, and that some judges have been removed 
from cases when they proved too independent-minded. 

There are four categories of special courts: the High Court 
of Justice, the Security (or "political") Court, the Court for 
the Repression of the Unlawful Accumulation of Wealth, and the 
military courts. The High Court of Justice, which was created 
for the sole purpose of trying high government officials for 
treason or malfeasance, has never met. The Security Court, 
which consists of a judge and two assessors, has jurisdiction 
over cases involving politically motivated crimes, such as the 
Casamance separatist cases. The "Illegal Enrichment" Court 
has only judged three cases since it was created 6 years ago 
and is not presently active. The military court system has 
jurisdiction over offenses committed by members of the armed 
forces during peacetime. In wartime, courts-martial may be 
convened. Civilians may not be tried by military courts. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence. 

The Senegalese bureaucracy, patterned after the French system, 
is highly centralized and requires of Senegalese citizens a 
fairly extensive array of documentation for purposes of 
education and obtaining social security and other benefits. 
The intent, however, is not coercive, and there is otherwise 
little government interference in the private lives of 
citizens . 

There is no evident pattern of monitoring the private written 
or oral communications of Senegalese citizens. There are 
constitutional safeguards against arbitrary invasion of the 
home. Search warrants are required and may be issued only by 
judges and in accordance with procedures established by law. 
While there is no evidence that security forces systematically 
violate the law in this regard, searches without warrants do 
occasionally take place. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Freedom of speech and press is protected constitutionally and 
is generally respected in practice. Full academic freedom 
exists. As noted above, however, there are laws which 
restrict personal attacks on the presidency and governmental 
institutions . 



247 



SENEGAL 

Publications are neither censored nor banned in Senegal. 
Publishers are required to register with the Central Court 
prior to starting publication, but such registrations are 
routinely approved. Laws establish standards for journalists 
and publishers. There are dozens of magazines and newspapers 
which reflect a broad range of opinion from conservative to 
Marxist. The country's most professional and informative 
newspaper is controlled by, and supports, the majority 
Socialist Party. Foreign publications circulate freely in 
Senegal without censorship. 

Notwithstanding the broad range of views available to the 
public, it is clear that in the official media (including the 
government-controlled radio and television) the activities of 
the ruling party are always covered, while the opposition 
parties are mentioned only occasionally at best. Even when 
the opposition is mentioned, it is done selectively, e.g., 
communiques are not read in their entirety and certain 
factions are excluded in favor of others less hostile to the 
Government. Events which affect and interest Senegalese are 
sometimes ignored completely, as was the case when rioting 
broke out on the university campus in January, and students 
went on strike for over a month. 

There are also legal limits on access to, and use of, the 
official media during election campaigns. The ruling party 
and its allies are entitled to 50 percent of the time allotted 
to political broadcasts, while the opposition parties divide 
the remaining 50 percent. Since one party holds the 
Government while some 15 oppose it, the opposition has 
demanded more equitable access to the airwaves. 

A recent law restricts the subject, timing, and publication of 
opinion polls, especially during campaign periods, effectively 
prohibiting them from covering political or electoral 
questions. A national commission must review all movies prior 
to public exhibition, and film.s which offend Senegalese 
sensibilities, e.g., gratuitous violence, or which deal with 
certain politically sensitive topics are prohibited. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

Senegalese frequently exercise their constitutional right of 
assembly, within certain restrictions aimed at protecting 
public order. Prior authorization for public demonstrations 
is required, and demonstrations or protest meetings against 
government policies are closely monitored by security 
services. Many opposition party activities are hindered or 
delayed because rallies or meetings can be banned by a local 
police official. On at least one occasion, a decision by a 
cabinet minister in the capital was required to overrule the 
ban. The opposition claims that these techniques are used to 
limit their access to the people. 

In April policemen walked off their jobs in Dakar and 
demonstrated in the streets. Since by law the police are 
prohibited from striking, the Government fired first the 
Interior Minister and his senior advisors and subsequently the 
entire police force. After a review of all their files, 
policemen found responsible for the illegal strike, as well as 
those involved in corruption or abuse of power, were not 
rehired. A large demonstration by labor union members outside 
the National Assembly in July to manifest their concern over 
revisions to the labor code under consideration by the 
Assembly took place peacefully without arrests. 



Rn_77n n _ RR _ Q 



248 



SENEGAL 

Workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively 
and to strike if negotiations are unsuccessful. Less than 25 
percent of the labor force is unionized. Economic and 
work-related issues are the principal concerns of Senegalese 
workers. In the past, the Government has cracked down on 
wildcat strike actions, such as in the case of the transport 
workers in 1985. The President amnestied in 1986 Moustapha 
Toure, a leader of the transport workers, and nine others 
sentenced to prison terms after that action. 

The major trade union confederation, the National 
Confederation of Senegalese Workers (CNTS) , is affiliated with 
the ruling Socialist Party. There are also several small, 
sometimes radical, independent trade unions representing some 
workers in sectors important to the economy. The independent 
unions are not afforded the same access to workers or the 
media as CNTS and are sometimes excluded from activities such 
as the traditional workers' May Day parade. The CNTS is 
entitled by the Socialist Party to a ministerial post, but the 
Secretary General of the CNTS has declined to accept the post, 
stating that he wishes to avoid divided loyalty between the 
workers and the party. 

In July 1987, the Government, in an attempt to comply with 
World Bank requirements aimed at making Senegal more 
attractive to investors, introduced new labor legislation 
designed to allow employers to hire workers for an unlimited 
number of yearly contracts. The law required that an 
employer, after signing two limited-term contracts with an 
employee, must hire the employee full time and give the 
employee full benefits and an unlimited duration contract. 
The CNTS demonstrated and lobbied successfully for an 
amendment to the government-sponsored bill which, in a final 
review, made the new legislation almost exactly the same as 
the former legislation. The CNTS officially is nonaligned 
with any international labor body but is affiliated with the 
Organization of African Trade Union Unity. 

c. Freedom of Religion. 

Senegal is constitutionally a secular state, and freedom of 
religion is a legal right which exists in practice. Islam is 
the religion of over 85 percent of the population. Other 
religions, primarily Catholicism, are freely exercised. 
Missionary activity is permitted, and foreign Protestant 
missionaries are active in several regions of the country. 
Conversion is permitted, and there is no discrimination 
against minority religions. Adherence to a particular 
religion confers neither advantage nor disadvantage in civil, 
political, economic, military, or other sectors. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

The Constitution states that all citizens have the right to 
move and establish themselves freely anywhere in Senegal, a 
right respected in practice. Since 1981 exit visas are not 
required for travel outside the country. There is no 
restriction on emigration, and repatriates are not officially 
disadvantaged on return to Senegal. 

Senegal is host to 5,140 recognized and assisted refugees. 
Prior to the April 3, 1984 coup in Guinea, there were an 
estimated 500,000 Guineans in Senegal, most of whom were not 
officially recognized as refugees. Most of them have since 



249 



SENEGAL 

returned to Guinea. There is a regional office of the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Dakar. Senegal 
continues to make places available for refugee students from 
other countries at the University of Dakar and other 
educational institutions. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Senegal is a functioning democracy with universal suffrage for 
all citizens over 21. Political life throughout the 
postindependence period has been dominated by the Socialist 
Party. There are currently 17 legally registered parties 
ranging in ideology from conservative to Trotskyite. Parties 
may not be based on divisive factors such as language, 
religion, or ethnic group. Presidential and legislative 
elections were last held in February 1983, with rural and 
municipal elections in November 1984. The next general 
elections are scheduled for February 1988. 

In the general elections of 1983, the PS won the presidency 
and 111 of the 120 legislative seats under a combination of 
direct constituency elections and proportional representation 
which was developed to assure at least some opposition 
presence. Opposition parties at that time charged that recent 
changes in the electoral code had favored the ruling party by 
removing the requirements for voter identification, a secret 
ballot, and opposition representation when votes were 
counted. Because of these objections, the leading opposition 
party, which won eight seats in the legislature, decided to 
boycott the municipal and rural elections the following year. 
In preparation for the February elections, several of the 
opposition parties are attempting to pressure the Government 
to modify the electoral code by threatening to boycott again. 
The Government has shown no sign of flexibility on this 
subject, and it appears the opposition will campaign even if 
no changes are made. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

Senegal maintains a dialogue with organizations such as 
Amnesty International (AI), which has an active chapter in 
Dakar, and has permitted numerous AI missions to investigate 
reports of human rights abuses in Senegal. Senegal is a 
leader among African countries in the establishment and 
promotion of international standards for human rights 
practices. Senegal was the original sponsor of the African 
Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights of the Organization of 
African Unity (OAU) . In June 1987, Senegal organized a 
colloquium to discuss the role and function of the African 
Human Rights Commission to be set up under that Charter, and a 
member of Senegal's Supreme Court was among the 11 African 
jurists chosen by the OAU's annual summit meeting, in July, to 
be on that Commission. Senegal is also an active member of 
the U.N. Human Rights Commission. A Senegalese was recently 
elected Vice President of the International Court of Justice 
in The Hague. Dakar is the headquarters of several 
institutions which foster the spread of human rights and 
democratic pluralism in Africa. 



250 



SENEGAL 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Sex, Race, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

While in general there is no official discrimination in 
Senegal based on race, religion, or language, the country is 
predominantly Muslim, and Islamic customs including polygamy 
and the rules of inheritance generally prevail, especially in 
the rural areas. Women are active participants in the 
political process, and several parties, including the dominant 
Socialist Party, have sections promoting women's rights. 
Twelve women are deputies in the National Assembly, and there 
are 3 women in President Diouf's Cabinet. In addition, a 
number of government ministries employ women in key positions, 
e.g., the Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs. In other ministries key agronomists, statisticians, 
and economists are women. Women may not serve in the armed 
forces. As a result, the new requirement that all police 
recruits have prior military service has the side effect of 
barring women from service in the police force. 

A subtle form of discrimination based on social status does 
exist, although it has been officially outlawed for several 
years. It concerns those families "of caste," who were 
traditionally occupied with menial or dirty jobs in the 
community--tanners , blacksmiths (and by extension, gold and 
silversmiths), wood carvers, some fishermen, etc. Although it 
is against the law to even mention the caste of a Senegalese, 
in fact virtually all citizens of the country know where each 
person fits in the social hierarchy. Articles in the press 
have described frictions which result from this social 
stratification. For example, a family may refuse to permit 
the marriage of a daughter to a young man of caste because it 
would lower her status. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The National Confederation of Senegalese Workers (CNTS) 
has been a major force in establishing, through collective 
bargaining over the years, regulations and guidelines for 
minimum employment age (16), occupational safety and health 
standards, minimum wage, and limits on work hours. In a 
majority of the larger companies and enterprises which can be 
easily monitored, the standards are closely followed. The 
minimum wage is approximately $0.66 per hour for a minimum of 
3 hours' work. Yet the informal work sector, faced with a 
worsening economic situation, has ignored many of these 
regulations. It is extremely difficult to monitor, let alone 
enforce, the minimum age requirement, working hour limits, and 
work place conditions within the informal work sector, and no 
effort is made in the large agricultural sector. 



251 



SEYCHELLES 



The Government of Seychelles, led by President France Albert 
Rene, took power in June 1977 in a military coup d'etat and 
forced into exile a number of former leaders, including 
ex-Prime Minister James Mancham. In 1979 a new Constitution 
was promulgated which formally abolished all political 
opposition to the ruling Socialist party, the Seychelles 
People's Progressive Front (SPPF) . This Constitution provides 
for a strong presidential executive, who appoints ministers 
and a People's Assembly of 23 elected members and several 
appointed members. The 1987 elections in the Assembly were 
competitive (more than one candidate vied for some seats), but 
all candidates were members of the SPPF. 

The Seychelles has a defense force of about 800 army 
personnel, a 300-man presidential protection unit, a 100-man 
navy, and a 15-man air force, as well as a uniformed police 
force of 500 and a people's militia of about 2,000. Together 
these units comprise over 4.3 percent of the total population. 
Tanzanian troops, now no longer on the islands, helped put 
down a mutiny in the armed forces in 1982. The defense force 
repulsed a November 1981 attack by mercenaries financed by 
Seychellois in exile. 

The Seychelles economy relies predominantly on tourism for 
foreign exchange. The tourism industry, which fell 
dramatically in the early 1980's, has since revived. 
Approximately 73,000 tourists visited Seychelles during 1987, 
an increase of 4.3 percent over 1986. Seychelles has actively 
sought to diversify the economy by granting fishing licenses 
to French, Soviet, Spanish, Korean, and Japanese trawlers and 
by expanding the fishing port in Victoria with foreign donor 
assistance . 

The human rights situation was little changed during 1987. 
The Constitution does not provide for fundamental human 
rights, but rather includes them in a preamble as the goal of 
the people of Seychelles. In 1987 the President continued to 
use the Public Security Act, which allows for indefinite 
detention in security cases, thus reaffirming his determination 
to put down opposition elements. The Government also continued 
to use exile as a means of suppressing dissent and accelerated 
a program of acquiring real property belonging to Seychellois 
residing overseas and known to be opposed to the Government. 
There were no reported instances of torture in 1987 and fewer 
political arrests and detentions than in 1986. The President 
reaffirmed his commitment to freedom of religion, 
noninterference in church affairs, and the right of religious 
groups to speak out, including through their influential media 
outlets . 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no confirmed instances of killing for political 
motives. Members of the overseas opposition allege, however, 
that Gerard Hoareau, leader of the London-based Seychelles 
National Movement, who was killed in November 1985, was 
assassinated by government agents and that Marjorie Baker, a 
Seychellois radio broadcaster stabbed to death in September 
1986, was killed to prevent her from revealing a story of 
political intrigue. 



252 

SEYCHELLES 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of disappearance. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

The Constitution explicitly forbids torture. While reports of 
torture are infrequent, there were two instances in 1986 which 
were substantiated by credible evidence. Two prisoners, who 
had been detained for political reasons, were severely beaten; 
one had been burned with cigarettes and had his beard and hair 
set on fire, while the other had been tortured with a bayonet. 

Generally, prisoners are well fed and supervised by 
professional prison wardens. Prisoners are normally 
incarcerated on isolated islands, although family visits are 
routinely arranged. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

During 1987 several persons were arrested and detained on 
presidential order under the Preservation of Public Security 
Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial in 
security cases. There is a Review Tribunal which is supposed 
to monitor prisoner treatment, but the Tribunal has not been 
convened since the late 1970's. The Public Security Act was 
introduced in December 1981, following an attack by 
mercenaries, and has been used on several occasions in recent 
years under questionable circumstances, thereby tarnishing the 
Government's reputation. For example, six persons were 
arrested in June 1986 under this Act, including Phillippe 
Boulle, the leading human rights activist in the country. The 
six were subsequently released in October 1986 without any 
formal charges being brought against them. In addition to 
those detained under the Act, police sometimes detain persons 
for 24 hours for "questioning" regarding alleged antigovernment 
activities. In particular, persons who seek to mobilize public 
opinion against the Government run a serious risk of being held 
for "questioning." 

The 1987 detentions under the Public Safety Act typically 
lasted only a few days. At the end of 1987, there were no 
known political detainees or prisoners, the last detainee 
under the Act having been released in September. 

The Government has taken various other actions against 
potential opponents. Some government workers have been fired 
without recourse to appeal or review. Other persons have 
suffered social and economic harassment and received direct or 
anonymous threats which they interpreted as signals to leave 
the country. Frequently, the Government has directly urged 
opponents to emigrate, an option that many have chosen over 
the years (see l.f. below). 

There is a prohibition against the use of forced or compulsory 
labor, and such practices have not been employed. There is, 
however, the National Youth Service for all persons age 14 to 
16, which has elements of military training and discipline, as 
well as academic study. 



253 

SEYCHELLES 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

Defendants in nonpolitical (both civil and criminal) cases 
have access to counsel and have enjoyed speedy and fair 
trials. The right to trial is patterned in large measure on 
English common law, although there is also a heavy influence 
of Napoleonic code law. Judges are provided under arrangements 
with the British Commonwealth and, except for security cases, 
have exhibited considerable independence from both the 
executive and legislative branches. The Chief Justice, who is 
appointed by the President, has stressed on several occasions 
that it is the judiciary's responsibility to impose sentences 
as required by law and that it should reflect the will of the 
legislature. 

The President exercises quasi- judicial powers. He has not 
only appointment authority but also has broad detention 
authority where public security is involved. Seychelles' law 
requires that a member of the armed forces be tried by court 
martial unless the President decrees otherwise. Theoretically, 
the Constitution precludes the President from dismissing 
judges. However, the President dismissed the previous Chief 
Justice, an action which has so far not been subjected to 
legal review. 

Amnesty International adopted Royce Dias, a known opponent of 
the Government, as a "prisoner of conscience," reflecting 
suspicions that the criminal charges against him appeared to 
have been fabricated for political reasons. Dias' 7-year 
sentence for possession of drugs was later reduced by the 
appeals court to 5 years. He remained incarcerated in 1987. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The authorities have broad powers of search and seizure 
without a warrant. The Seychelles Marketing Board Act, passed 
in 1984, allowed police to enter any premises, private or 
public, and to seize any documents which they believe may be 
in violation of the Act. However, in August 1987 the 
Government repealed a 15-month-old law which had required all 
locally grown produce to be sold through the Marketing Board, 
thereby eliminating the justification for searches relating to 
illegal sale of produce. Legislation exists which allows the 
Government to open mail, domestic as well as international, 
and it is widely believed that the Government does so. Many 
persons complain that applications for immigration to other 
countries mailed from overseas are confiscated. There was at 
least one confirmed instance of a person who openly complained 
about the lack of civil liberties in Seychelles having his 
home ransacked. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Although theoretically protected under the 1979 Constitution, 
freedom of speech is exercised sparingly. The Government 
controls the major newspaper in the country, as well" as all 
radio and television broadcasting. Legislation provides up to 
3 years' imprisonment for anyone "who with intent to bring the 
President into hatred, ridicule, or contempt, publishes any 
defamatory or insulting matter whether in writing, print, or by 
word of mouth, or in any other manner." This same legislation 
authorizes a 2-year sentence for anyone who "prints, supplies. 



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SEYCHELLES 

distributes, reproduces, or has in his possession or control" 
any publication banned by the Government for security 
reasons. The Government has sought to prevent the importation 
of pamphlets printed by its opposition abroad. There were no 
known arrests for distribution or importation of "seditious 
literature" in 1987. 

The President has promised not to interfere with the right of 
religious groups to speak out freely. The Catholic Church 
publishes a lively paper. Echo Des Isles, which is not subject 
to government control or censorship. This paper continues to 
publish some articles which obliquely criticize the Government. 
The two largest religious denominations in the country, the 
Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches, are each provided 2 
hours of free, uncensored broadcasting a month. Both Churches 
have taken advantage of the monthly broadcast to comment on 
social and political issues. Seychelles has for the past 17 
years granted a license for a Protestant radio station (FEBA) 
to broadcast religious programs throughout Asia and Africa. 
FEBA is planning to expand its facilities in Seychelles. The 
BBC has commenced building a relay facility on the main island 
of Mahe. Foreign broadcasts are widely listened to and are 
uncensored. Foreign publications have been imported and sold 
without hindrance. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The Government has been quick to move against unauthorized 
demonstrations and has made arrests under an old British 
colonial law which prohibits unlawful assembly without a 
government permit. All associations, clubs, and other 
organizations require government permission to organize, which 
is usually granted for nonpolitical groups. 

There is one legal union, the National Workers' Union (NWU) , 
which is under direct control of the ruling party and is 
government subsidized. It does not function as a free trade 
union, although it serves in an advisory role for workers and 
seeks better working conditions for its members. The NWU lost 
a seat on the International Labor Organization governing board 
in 1981 because of its failure to attend a meeting in Geneva. 
Changes at the 1985 party conference further restricted the 
election of labor union officials who, in the future, will be 
appointed by the Government. A new labor law, enacted in 1985 
and effective beginning in 1986, set out guidelines for 
employee/employer relations. There have been no strikes in 
Seychelles since 1977. There is no collective bargaining. 
Most workers are government employees, whose wages are set by 
governmental guidelines through parastatal companies. The 
guidelines set upper limits on wages and preclude wage 
incentives. Nonetheless, industrial relations are harmonious. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

There has been no official religious persecution in the 
Seychelles, and church services are widely attended. The 
Roman Catholic and Anglican churches have flourished, and 
Muslims and Hindus are unrestricted in their religious 
practices. There is a clear separation between church and 
state. Religious instruction in schools has been limited. 
The Government has addressed religious institutions' 
complaints that artificial impediments have made it difficult, 
if not impossible, for children (ages 14-17) in the National 
Youth Service (NYS) to attend church by allowing services to 
be held at the NYS camps. As recently as 1984, the President 



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SEYCHELLES 

publicly reiterated his support for religion and said there 
would be no government interference in the right of people to 
worship as they choose. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

There are no restrictions on internal travel. Passports may 
be acquired by virtually any citizen, although Seychellois 
traveling abroad for study at government expense are required 
to sign a bond which enables the Government to recoup the cost 
of their education should they fail to return. Such persons 
who are "bonded" must have government permission to travel 
abroad following their return. There are no known cases in 
which passports are currently being withheld. There are no 
restrictions on voluntary repatriation for those willing to 
accept the present one-party political system. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

Since 1979 there has been only one legal political party, the 
Seychelles People's Progressive Front (SPPF) . All political 
(and much social) activity is channeled through this 
institution. Citizens cannot change the one-party system, and 
therefore cannot change the party in power. President Rene, 
both as President of the country as well as the Secretary 
General of the party, wields much power and influence. During 
the SPPF Congress held December 10-12, 1987, the President 
once more was unopposed and was elected unanimously to a 
fourth 3-yeaf term as Secretary General of the party. 
Opponents of the party can neither organize nor express public 
opposition. The party has 23 regional offices called 
"branches" which are responsible for organizing and supervising 
discussion about current government policies. These branches 
are encouraged to report public opinion in their regions. 
Such discussions do not often result in policy changes. 

The Government has used various means to stifle political 
opposition. In June 1983, the Government embarked on a 
campaign to nationalize private land, ostensibly to claim 
unused agricultural land. On March 13, 1987, the Government 
implemented a vigorous program of acquiring many parcels of 
Seychelles real estate owned by Seychellois abroad known to 
oppose the Government. The acquisitions are made under the 
Land Acquisition Act of 1977. Although the Government has 
stated that compensation will be paid, relatively few persons 
have been compensated, and it is anticipated that any 
compensation will generally be in the form of long-term 
government bonds at very low interest rates. Negotiations 
with previous owners were continuing at the end of 1987. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

Requests for information are sent to the Chief Justice of the 
Supreme Court, who acts as an interlocutor between human 
rights groups, such as Amnesty International, and the 
Seychelles Government. There have been complaints that 
correspondence relating to the Amnesty International case of 
Royce Dias has been interfered with, but to date it has not 
been possible to confirm the validity of those complaints. In 
other cases, however, inquiries have led to the release of 
some detainees. 



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SEYCHELLES 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

There is no discrimination in housing, employment, education, 
or other social services based on sex or on racial, ethnic, 
national, or religious identification. Women enjoy high 
status in this essentially matriarchal society. They have the 
same legal, political, economic, and social rights as men. 
One woman was recently elevated to the rank of minister. Two 
women are serving as Central Committee members of the party. 
Many senior officials, up to and including the rank of state 
secretary, are women. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The Seychelles, located in the Indian Ocean about 1,000 miles 
east of Kenya, has a population of only 65,000 and a land 
surface of 171 sguare miles. The Government dominates the 
labor scene in the small economy. Labor laws were 
consolidated in the Employment Act of 1985, which went into 
force in 1986 and provides for a minimum working age of 14 and 
a minimum wage of $165 per month. According to officials of 
the National Workers Union, occupational safety and health 
conditions are one element monitored by the union's inspection 
program. Labor laws are enforced. The Government has used 
these laws to keep people on the job, thus holding down an 
already high unemployment rate. There are no child labor laws 
beyond the setting of the minimum age noted above. The 
minimum wage, high by African standards, is not adequate in a 
severely overpriced economy. 



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Sierra Leone has a one-party system of government with the 
President exercising predominant executive authority. The 
1978 Constitution, approved in a national referendum, 
established the All People's Congress (APC) as the country's 
sole legal political party. Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh 
assumed power on November 28, 1985, following a national 
referendum confirming his designation by the APC for the 
Presidency. 

The government security structure, which includes the police, 
the military forces, and the Special Security Division, 
generally does not interfere with the rights of individuals. 
In October, however, a number of soldiers attacked workers at 
a power generating plant, allegedly because they believed the 
workers were deliberately denying electricity to the military. 
Senior military officials apologized for the incident and 
promised an investigation and punishment for those involved. 

Sierra Leone is considered by the United Nations to be among 
the world's least developed countries. About 70 percent of 
its 3.9 million population is engaged in agriculture, mainly 
at the subsistence level. Mineral exports, notably diamonds, 
are the principal foreign exchange earner. The Constitution 
recognizes the right of the individual to own private property. 
Most of the modern sector of the economy is privately owned, 
but there is government ownership in certain key sectors, 
particularly transportation and mining. Economic austerity 
measures initiated in July 1986 were abandoned early in 1987, 
and economic conditions, notably in diamond production and 
prices, have continued to deteriorate. In November the 
President declared a state of economic emergency and proposed 
a series of sweeping measures, e.g., measures to prevent 
hoarding and smuggling of precious minerals and to punish 
severely those involved in government corruption. 

In 1987 the major event influencing the human rights climate 
was the President's economic emergency program. Reportedly, 
the Government has moved slowly in introducing this program in 
order to protect constitutional rights, but the emergency 
gives the Government broad new powers in a number of sensitive 
areas, e.g., in detaining and controlling the movements of 
people, and limiting press reporting. The Government created 
a special commission to investigate the high number of prisoner 
deaths due to malnutrition and disease. In March an alleged 
coup plot against the Momoh Government was uncovered. The 
Government charged that a former senior police official 
conspired with the then First Vice President and a prominent 
businessman to assassinate the President. Eighteen persons 
were tried and found guilty of treason; 16 were sentenced to 
death. The verdicts were being appealed at the end of 1987. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports of political killings. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reports of abduction of individuals by the 
Government or hostage-taking by nongovernmental groups. 



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c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There were no specific reports of torture in 1987. Harsh 
physical treatment of prisoners by police, however, is thought 
to be common. Conditions in the prisons are poor, and deaths 
due to malnutrition, pneumonia, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis 
are said by journalists and lawyers to be common. Amnesty 
International issued a report in 1987 making similar 
allegations. Subsequently, the President appointed a special 
panel to investigate prison conditions. It had not reported 
its findings by the end of the year. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The President's new economic emergency measures, which were 
announced in November, gave the Government new powers to deal 
with smugglers and hoarders of currency and commodities. 
Their impact on judicial procedures and the forced movement of 
people was still not clear at the end of 1987. 

Judicial review of arrests is part of Sierra Leone common law 
and generally observed in practice. It is widely charged, 
however, particularly in Sierra Leonean legal circles, that 
police, as a form of harassment, sometimes detain persons for 
short periods without charge or judicial review. Under normal 
circumstances, detainees not charged with an offense within 28 
days of arrest must be released. During a state of emergency, 
however, the Public Emergency Act comes into effect, and 
persons detained under its provisions are not guaranteed a 
hearing unless charged with a capital offense. (The economic 
emergency measures enacted in 1987 do not fall under the 
Public Emergency Act.) No one was being detained under Public 
Emergency regulations at the end of 1987. Under the 
Constitution, the President may take measures to detain any 
person who is, or is reasonably suspected to be, dangerous to 
the well-being of the Republic. 

Neither exile nor forced labor is practiced. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The judicial system comprises a Supreme Court of Appeals and a 
High Court of Justice, with judges appointed by the President, 
and magistrates courts. Local courts administer traditional 
law, with lay judges and procedures that do not require legal 
counsel . 

The judiciary has generally maintained its independence, 
although some critics charge that the legal system is 
increasingly subject to political manipulation, often before 
cases reach the courts, and that it has also been penetrated 
by corruption. Sierra Leone's courts generally have a 
reputation for providing fair public trials. Defendants are 
allowed counsel of their choice, and convictions may be 
appealed. Many defendants, however, cannot afford counsel, 
and a public defender is provided only in capital offense 
cases. 

There are no known political prisoners. The 1987 coup trial 
which involved the former First Vice President, Francis M. 
Minah, and 17 others--largely from Mr. Minah's Pujehun 
district — was conducted in the High Court of Justice and was 
open to the public. The defendants had legal counsel and were 
given adequate time to prepare their cases and call witnesses. 



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The death sentence verdicts in 16 of the 18 cases were under 
appeal to the Court of Appeals at the end of 1987. According 
to attorneys defending the persons charged in the coup trial, 
the proceedings were--to all outward appearances — fair, but 
they believe a number of rulings were subtly biased in favor 
of the prosecution. 

While the handling of the 1987 coup case — from arrest to 
trial--moved expeditiously, this is not true of most cases. 
The legal system is heavily overburdened and lacks resources. 
This results in an average delay of 2 years before a case 
actually comes to trial. The only official records of 
proceedings are handwritten notes taken by the judges. This 
practice limits lawyers' access to written documentation and 
puts in question the impartiality of the official record. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The State does not generally interfere with rights of privacy 
and family, and legal safeguards against arbitrary invasion of 
the home are usually observed. Neither censorship of mail nor 
electronic eavesdropping by the State on private conversations 
have been reported. Some organizations, however, have claimed 
that informers report to the Government on their activities. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Although freedom of speech is legally guaranteed, this can be 
abridged under the Constitution if the proper functioning of 
the Government is deemed to be in jeopardy. In practice, the 
Government generally tolerates public criticism by citizens, 
and academic freedom is respected. Political propaganda 
occasionally circulates within the country from opposition 
groups based in Western Europe or the United States. 

There has been no prior government censorship of the press. 
Newspapers have reported on sensitive political topics such as 
misuse of government funds, bribery, and bureaucratic 
indiscipline. The press has been particularly active in 
uncovering corruption since the Government began an 
anticorruption campaign in July. Journalists fear, however, 
that the economic emergency regulations adopted in November 
will affect press freedom adversely. Those regulations 
provide for prison sentences up to 5 years and fines up to 
5,000 leones ($217) for publication of any false statement 
calculated to bring another person into disrepute, or any 
statement in a newspaper (regardless of its truth) that is 
likely to alarm the public, disturb the peace, or stir up 
feelings of ill-will among ethnic or religious groups. Even 
prior to these new regulations journalists exercised self- 
censorship. For example, most editors avoid publishing 
articles portraying the country in a critical light or 
attacking the Head of State personally. This approach is 
codified in the Newspaper Act of 1983, which specifies 
qualification standards for editors and sets a fee for 
registration of newspapers. 

In 1987 one editor was detained for 4 days on the orders of 
the First Vice President who objected to an article speculating 
that he would be removed. The editor was released after the 
Sierra Leone Association of Journalists protested the detention 
to the President. 



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b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The Constitution provides for the right of freedom of assembly 
and permits the formation of and membership in trade unions or 
other economic, social, or professional associations. These 
rights, however, are limited, most significantly where assembly 
or association would conflict with the "proper functioning of 
the party" or with public order. In practice, freedom of 
association in the nonpolitical sphere is respected. Private 
associations of citizens can and do make representations to 
the Government on policy issues and are not subject to 
reprisals . 

There has been a long history of trade unions in Sierra Leone. 
Labor has the right to organize into unions, to recruit 
members, and to bargain collectively with employers. Most 
sectors of the modern economy are unionized. Labor is also 
permitted to strike, and there have been a number of strikes 
and other forms of industrial action in recent years, most 
recently a teachers' work slowdown in 1987. Unions also have 
the right to join confederations. The Government has favored 
one confederation, the Sierra Leone Labor Congress (SLCC) , to 
which most unions now belong. The Head of the SLCC is a 
member of the party and a Member of Parliament. The SLCC 
participates in the Sierra Leone delegation to the 
International Labor Organization meetings and is a member of 
the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

There is a tradition of religious tolerance in Sierra Leone. 
Muslims (the largest religious group), Christians, animists, 
and adherents of other faiths practice their religions freely 
and publish religious documents without government 
interference. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

The President's economic emergency program will, when 
implemented, affect the freedom of movement of people, e.g., 
in being able to shift people to other areas if orderly 
administrative and economic needs dictate. Heretofore, the 
only official control on travel within the country has been in 
diamond-mining areas where restrictions are intended to control 
smuggling. There are few regulations restricting foreign 
travel. Sierra Leone, a party to the U.N. Convention and 
Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, is host to 
approximately 200 refugees, most of whom are students from 
Namibia. There were no reported incidents of forced 
repatriation in 1987. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The right of citizens to change their government is limited by 
the fact that Sierra Leone is a one-party state, although 
local party members have some say in the designation of 
candidates. Former President Stevens was the dominant 
authority in Sierra Leone until 1985, when he retired and 
arranged for his succession by Major General Momoh. The 
Parliament, at Stevens' behest, amended the Constitution to 
allow Momoh to become President without resigning his military 
commission, and in August of that year the single party, the 
All Peoples' Congress, under the control of Stevens, nominated 



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Momoh as President. Since independence in 1961, the clear 
trend in political development has been to increase executive 
power and decrease constitutional checks on that power. The 
Constitution provides that the leader of the party will be the 
sole candidate for the office of President. The Cabinet, 
selected by the President from elected as well as appointed 
members of Parliament, meets with the President regularly and 
is a key advisory body. 

The Parliament is subservient to the executive branch of the 
Government. Candidates for Parliament are chosen in each 
constituency by the party's local executive committee, which 
selects three candidates from the list of citizens who seek 
nomination. The Central Committee of the party has the power 
to disapprove the nomination of any candidate selected by the 
local party executive if it believes that candidacy would be 
inimical to the State. Parliamentary elections were last held 
in May 1986 and were accompanied by less campaign violence 
than in any election since 1977. While there were problems in 
some constituencies, these were redressed in many cases by 
repolling or, in seven disputed races, in the courts. There 
is universal suffrage. 

In addition to the national political system, a traditional 
system of local government operates in the provinces. 
Paramount chiefs are elected for life by the members of local 
chiefdom councils. The paramount chiefs retain considerable 
authority in local affairs and in resolving traditional 
disputes . 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government generally has taken a positive attitude toward 
international and nongovernmental groups involved in 
monitoring human rights violations. In response to the 1987 
Amnesty International report. President Momoh convened a 
special commission to investigate possible human rights 
violations in the prisons. 

The Government has not interfered with the activities of the 
Sierra Leone Bar Association's Society for the Preservation of 
Human Rights This Society, founded in 1985, is supported by 
Members of Parliament, judges, medical doctors, academics, 
civil servants, trade unionists, and the media. The Society 
won its first major court case in 1986, obtaining the 
acquittal of a group arrested for demonstrating peacefully. 
Local chapters of Amnesty International also exist. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

There is no officially sanctioned discrimination on the basis 
of race, sex, religion, language, or social status. Members 
of Sierra Leone's various ethnic and religious groups interact 
peacefully and are represented at all levels of the Government. 

Women in Sierra Leone are guaranteed equal rights by the 
Constitution, but their status varies widely in different 
parts of the country and depends heavily upon the cultural 
values of various tribal groups. In most rural areas, women 
are involved in farming. In some areas of Sierra Leone women 
have been elected to the prestigious position of paramount 
chief. The Government continues to be male-dominated. In the 



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Parliament elected in 1986, only 5 of the 112 members are 
women. However, women are prominent in some professions, and 
one woman is a Supreme Court justice. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The normal workweek is 38 1/2 hours (7 hours on each of the 5 
weekdays and 3 1/2 hours on Saturdays) . An established code 
sets out acceptable standards for the workplace, covering 
maintenance of machinery, safety procedures, and sanitary 
conditions. In actual practice, however, manufacturing 
concerns in Sierra Leone, of which there are very few, 
probably do not conform to the code, and there is no 
practicable means of enforcing it. There is no minimum age 
for the employment of children. Sierra Leone has no 
legislated minimum wage, although the Ministry of Labour is 
considering such a proposal. Outside the public sector there 
are no comprehensive wage or salary guidelines. 



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SOMALIA 



Somalia's formal governmental structure includes the President, 
the Council of Ministers, and the National People's Assembly. 
For the past 18 years, Somalia has been ruled by President 
Mohamed Siad Barre, head of the armed forces and Secretary 
General of the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party, the 
country's sole legal political party. Brought to power by a 
military coup in 1969, President Siad was elected to a 7-year 
term in December 1986 in Somalia's first direct presidential 
election which gave the President 99.9 percent of the vote. 
The Council of Ministers is appointed by President Siad. The 
members of the People's Assembly were last elected on a single 
slate in December 1984, with no provision for alternative or 
dissenting votes. The President regularly convenes the party 
Politburo, a close circle of advisers composed of the Vice 
President and four of the most powerful ministers, who also 
represent the major clan groups in Somalia. Informal and 
formal consultations between the leadership and clan groups 
also have a major impact on internal politics. 

Having risen to power on the basis of his support in the 
military. President Siad consolidated his authority by forging 
a consensus among the clans through careful balancing of clan 
representation in his Cabinet. Military officers remain key 
political players. The police force maintains civil order. 
These two uniformed services are augmented by the National 
Security Service (NSS), created in 1970, which has essentially 
unlimited powers of arrest, detention, and confiscation in 
matters deemed to involve national security. 

Somalia has few natural resources, and most of its estimated 
population of 5.6 million earn a bare subsistence as herdsmen 
or farmers. The country's economy has suffered from periodic 
drought and overcentralization. Recurrent conflict with 
Ethiopia has entailed heavy defense expenditures and a massive 
refugee problem. However, since 1983 the Government has been 
introducing new policies to encourage development of the small 
private sector and to initiate economic reforms with the 
assistance of a variety of donors, including the International 
Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Agency for International 
Development. These reforms have had salutary effects on 
production and exports and have also lowered the inflation 
rate. In August 1987, however, popular riots occurred in 
protests against fuel shortages and a rise in transportation 
fares. The President, in subsequent policy statements, 
appeared to be having second thoughts about the reforms, seeing 
some liability in market-determined food prices and foreign 
exchange rates. 

There was no significant change in Somalia's human rights 
situation in 1987. Civil and political rights remain tightly 
circumscribed; however, while public criticism of the 
Government is not allowed, Somalia are less reluctant to speak 
openly in private conversations about dissatisfaction with 
government policies. The Government shows little hesitation to 
imprison those it sees as a threat to security. Two antiregime 
organizations, the Somali National Movement (SNM) and the 
Somali Democratic Salvation Front (SDSF) , operate out of 
Ethiopia and periodically conduct military attacks against 
Somali government and army establishments, primarily in 
northern Somalia. 



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SOMALIA 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

It is difficult to obtain information on possible political 
killings, especially in the wake of periodic fighting between 
antigovernment and government forces. Opposition groups were 
responsible for some deaths or woundings of civilians in the 
course of their attacks on government establishments, 
particularly in the North. A Somali National Security Service 
official was assassinated in December 1986 while sitting in a 
public cafe in Hargeisa. While the opposition's avowed targets 
are the military, tactics involve use of land mines, which have 
injured some civilians. 

Although a number of death sentences have been issued by the 
National Security Court, from whose decisions there is no right 
of appeal, there were no credible reports in 1987 that any of 
the defendants were actually executed. The Somali President 
can and has pardoned or reduced sentences of persons convicted 
by the National Security Court. There have been reports of 
extralegal or summary executions of alleged dissidents, 
especially in the North, but it is difficult to obtain 
corroborating information due to the periodic fighting. 

b. Disappearance 

There were no reported cases of unexplained disappearance. SNM 
dissidents kidnaped 10 French doctors and an Ethiopian refugee 
in January from the Tug Wajale refugee camp but later released 
them in Ethiopia to French authorities. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

There are recurring reports of the use of torture by police and 
security officials, including immersion in sea water, beatings, 
rape, and placing prisoners in contorted positions for extended 
periods. Somali officials consistently deny that torture is 
practiced. Authorities routinely use rough treatment in order 
to obtain confessions from criminal suspects. Somali prisons 
are unsanitary and living conditions are difficult. Some 
political detainees are held incommunicado for various lengths 
of time, reportedly in harsh conditions in maximum security 
prisons where they are denied contact with their families, and, 
in some cases, kept in solitary confinement. However, upon 
release from prison, some political prisoners have been 
restored to their old government jobs or have had new jobs 
created for them. In its 1987 report, Amnesty International 
(AI) expressed concern about reports of ill-treatment and 
torture of political prisoners. Police behavior has sometimes 
been rough in other contexts. At the National Day parade in 
October, overzealous security forces beat some spectators and 
fired a few shots, but there were no casualties. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Despite constitutional provisions that accord Somali citizens 
the right to formal charges and a speedy trial, the criminal 
procedure code was modified in 1970 to exempt crimes involving 
national security from specific time limits and rules of 
procedure. Those arrested for expression of critical views of 



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SOMALIA 

the Government may be charged with crimes against the State, 
such as sedition and conspiracy against the State, and held 
indefinitely without being brought to trial. The National 
Security Service is empowered to arrest without a warrant 
anyone suspected of a crime involving national security. There 
is no provision for bail in any but minor cases before the 
National Security Court. 

Estimates of the number of political detainees range from 300 
to 800, of whom at least 200 are being held without charge. 
Some reports indicate this number is much higher, allegedly due 
to mass arrests in the North in the wake of the conflict 
between the army and the SNM. AI's latest report recalls that 
among those held without charge are a politician and lawyer 
detained without trial since 1975 and several army officers 
detained since 1978. Several persons detained since 1982 will 
be tried early in 1988 (see below). AI's report, as well as 
other sources, claim that Somalia is holding without trial at 
Hawai prison several hundred Ethiopian civilians reportedly 
captured by Somali forces in the 1977-78 Ogaden War. The 
Government provides no information about the number of 
detainees . 

Six former Members of Parliament arrested in 1982, including 
one former Vice President and four Cabinet members (two of whom 
were founders of the current regime), were formally charged in 
1987 with "high treason." The Government announced that these 
persons will be brought to trial in February 1988 and permitted 
legal counsel. A seventh Member of Parliament detained with 
this group died in prison in 1983 allegedly due to medical 
neglect. There are reports that other political detainees will 
also be tried in 1988. 

The Government does not practice exile. In 1986 President Siad 
Barre publicly offered amnesty to dissidents abroad who wished 
to return to Somalia. Compulsory labor is not permitted under 
Somali law. However, the Government and the party occasionally 
organize campaigns in which "voluntary" labor is used in street 
cleaning or temporarily in state-run factories. Prisoners may 
perform labor as part of their penal servitude. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The Somali judicial system includes civil and criminal courts, 
headed by the Supreme Court and a separate National Security 
Court, which is not independent from the executive and is in 
session almost weekly. Lawyers are permitted to represent 
suspects before the National Security Court, but proceedings 
are not always open to the public. In contrast, the civil and 
criminal courts are conducted openly. Although nominally 
independent, the judiciary is in fact not distinguishable as an 
institution from the executive, which reviews and controls 
judicial decisions. All judges in the Supreme Court and lower 
courts are appointed by the President with the advice of the 
Higher Judicial Council, of which the President is the chairman. 
The right to appeal exists in criminal and civil cases, but not 
in cases heard by the National Security Court. In the civil 
and criminal courts, legal assistance is provided, and there 
are established rules of evidence. There are no religious 
courts in Somalia. In certain civil proceedings relating to 
family matters, such as marriage and inheritance, the judge may 
cite prevailing Islamic Shari'a law in rendering decisions. 

In 1986 there were some arrests of Islamic religious figures, 
made on the basis of the Government's suspicions that they were 



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dissidents, not because of their religious activities. In 
particular, the Government arbitrarily arrested nine Islamic 
clerics and accused them, among other things, of using religion 
to incite people against the security of the State. The nine 
were tried and sentenced to death by the National Security 
Court, but their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment 
in August 1987. While these clerics were reported to be 
radical Shi'a, they were more likely Sunni fundamentalists. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

"Mobilization campaigns" are organized by the Somali 
Revolutionary Socialist Party to promote public participation 
in, and enthusiasm for, various civic and national programs, as 
well as general support for government policies. Participation 
in these campaigns is urged but not strictly enforced. 
Military press gangs are often used to provide "recruits" for 
the army. The National Security Service uses its authority to 
search homes without warrants. This authority extends to 
monitoring communications and opening mail, although there is 
no evidence that such practices are broadly used. The NSS can 
effectively track the movements of persons through its 
comprehensive network of informants. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The Government does not allow public expression of dissenting 
views and owns and operates the media. There is one weekly 
newspaper, published in Arabic and Italian, which is privately 
owned but hews to the government line by practicing self- 
censorship. The press disseminates only information and 
opinion acceptable to the Government. The Central Censorship 
Board retains control over all media (foreign and local), 
including publications circulated within the country--f i 1ms , 
plays, concerts, lectures, and other means of communication, 
such as videotapes, whether imported or produced in Somalia. 
Members of the press exercise self -censorship, and there have 
been no reports of detention of journalists. In the past, some 
Italian publications have been banned, as well as the quarterly 
journal Horn of Africa published in New Jersey by expatriate 
Somali and Ethiopian intellectuals. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

All nonreligious organizations and public gatherings are 
subject to government control or supervision. Protest meetings 
against government policies are not permitted. In April 1986, 
a short-lived rally in favor of the imposition of the Islamic 
Shari'a law resulted in the arrest of nearly 100 participants. 

The country's single labor confederation, the General 
Federation of Somali Trade Unions (GFSTU) , is government 
controlled. The head of the GFSTU is appointed by the 
Government. Its members do not have the right to strike. 
There have been no strikes since the 1969 revolution. 
Organizing a strike is legally punishable by the death 
penalty. However, no trade union official has been punished by 
fine, imprisonment, or death for violating the antistrike law. 
The GFSTU" s main function is to monitor the work force and 
provide a conduit for worker grievances. The GFSTU is a member 
of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity and the 



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International Confederation of Arab Trade Unions, and 
participates in the International Labor Organization. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Islam is the state religion, and nearly 100 percent of the 
population is Muslim, predominantly of the Sunni sect. The 
Government monitors the topics of sermons preached in the 
mosques and occasionally will arrest a religious leader whose 
text strays too far into political areas. Since 1986 the 
Government has appointed all imams. Activities of those who 
openly wear conservative Islamic dress or who were educated in 
religious schools in Saudi Arabia are closely monitored by 
Somali security forces. 

The Government has arrested Somalis and deported expatriates 
for Muslim Brotherhood activities, but contends that the 
Brotherhood, which seeks to apply Islamic tenets to politics, 
is a secular, not a religious, organization. Somalis are free 
to participate in the hajj, and many do so annually. Members 
of other religions may practice their faiths freely, but 
proselytizing is not permitted. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Internal travel is not formally restricted but is controlled 
through police and military checkpoints in towns, border areas, 
and regions noted for interclan violence. Since the December 
1986 murder of the chief security officer of the northern 
region, the Government has imposed travel restrictions on 
Somali citizens in that region including an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. 
curfew in Hargeisa. There have been reports that Somali 
soldiers and police frequently harass travelers in and out of 
the capital city. 

Although any Somali citizen can obtain a passport, the 
Government denies exit visas to categories of young people, 
such as young men of military age and those under police 
surveillance. Emigration is permitted for all but government 
employees. Somalis who have gone abroad are not prevented from 
returning. Those who have been involved in dissident 
activities against the regime may face questioning or 
imprisonment upon their return. However, some dissidents who 
have renounced their opposition to the regime have been 
welcomed back and provided with government jobs. 

Somalia provides a home to a much-disputed number of refugees 
from Ethiopia. The Somali Government officially welcomes 
refugees to stay or to return to Ethiopia as they wish. 
Estimates range from the Government's figure of 800,000 down to 
350,000. A majority are ethnic Somalis, but Oromos (both 
Muslim and Christian) constitute an important minority. The 
Oromos who fled to Somalia generally stated that they were 
fleeing from the Ethiopian Government's "villagization" and 
collectivization policies. These recent arrivals, like other 
non-Somalis displaced into Somalia, are not allowed to 
assimilate into the Somali population. Logistics and 
resettlement problems present obstacles to voluntary 
repatriation. As of August 30, 3,137 refugees had officially 
returned to Ethiopia under the auspices of the United Nations 
High Commissioner for Refugees, although many more may have 
returned on their own. 



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Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

President Siad Barre rules Somalia and controls political 
participation through the single legal political party, the 
Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party. Citizens cannot change 
the one-party system, and therefore cannot change the party in 
power. The party directs participation in Somali political 
affairs through organizations such as the General Federation of 
Somali Trade Unions, the Somali Women's Democratic Organization, 
and the Somali Revolutionary Youth Organization. Voting for the 
People's Assembly entails only a vote for or against the party's 
national slate, although one need not necessarily be a member of 
the party to be included as a candidate pn the slate. President 
Siad Barre was the sole candidate for the presidency in the 
election held on December 23, 1986. There is no legal 
opposition to the Government, and public criticism of its 
policies is forbidden. 

Somalia has only one indigenous ethnic group, the Somali, which 
is subdivided into clans and clan-groups. Although the country 
is ethnically and linguistically homogeneous, clan divisions 
have a great impact on domestic politics. While officially 
outlawing "tribalism," President Siad recognizes the continuing 
strength of the traditional, clan-based political coalitions 
and uses clan politics as a means of maintaining his rule. 
Government officials frequently hold formal and informal 
consultations with various clan leaders. Clan identification 
is very strong, and for many Somalis, the traditional clan 
system is the accepted vehicle of political expression. Clan 
politics and clan rivalries occasionally erupt into violence. 
Tension was high in May 1987 between Marehans and Ogadenis in 
Kismayo when a Marehan army officer shot and killed an Ogadeni 
youth. Some members of the Issak clan of the North actively 
support the insurgency of the antigovernment SNM. Other Issaks 
are themselves members of the government bureaucracy or the 
military. Loyalty or opposition to the Government can thus cut 
across clan lines and create complex political patterns. 

Women and minorities participate in politics and government, 
but they wield little power. A number of women are members of 
the People's Assembly, and several are vice ministers. Other 
women occupy relatively senior positions in various ministries, 
and one holds an ambassadorship. The Somali Women's Democratic 
Organization has in the past advocated greater political 
participation and mobilization for women, although it has been 
dismissed by some Somalis as a vehicle of the party for 
mobilizing women in support of government policies and the 
status quo on issues involving women. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

In the past, the Government has generally not replied to 
inquires by human rights organizations such as Amnesty 
International, although it responded to an inquiry on prisoners 
from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Human 
rights. It also permitted a visit of inquiry (first requested 
in 1985) by the NAS Human Rights Committee in October 1987. 
NAS will publish a report of its findings in 1988. The 
Government has not responded to international requests, e.g., 
from the International Parliamentary Union, to release the six 
parliamentarians who have been detained without charge since 
1982, but it set a trial date for them in February 1988. 



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The Government has refused requests by foreign officials and 
human rights organizations to visit political prisoners, but it 
permits the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 
representative in Mogadishu to visit to some Ethiopian prisoners 
of war from the 1977-78 Ogaden conflict. However, there are 
many Ethiopian prisoners of war to whom the Government has not 
permitted access. The Somalis require that government witnesses 
be present at ICRC interviews. There has been no repatriation 
or exchange of these prisoners of war, although Somalia proposed 
a modest exchange with Ethiopia in 1986. 

There are no Somali organizations which actively address human 
rights issues. In international forums, official Somali remarks 
on human rights are usually restricted to general statements and 
criticism of practices in Ethiopia. There are indications that 
discreet local inquiries may have a positive impact in 
encouraging the Government to improve its record in this regard. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

While there is no overt discrimination in the distribution of 
economic benefits among the various clans and clan-groups in 
Somalia, members of certain clans and some individuals 
capitalize on their political connections in the Government. 
There is no discrimination regarding access to education and 
health services on clan or ethnic bases, although these social 
services are generally available only in larger urban areas of 
the country. 

While they have considerable inheritance and ownership rights, 
Somali women suffer from traditional discrimination in work and 
family matters. Long-established practices, such as female 
circumcision, remain prevalent despite government opposition. 
The payment of dowry and bride wealth are common in marriage 
rituals. Divorce laws and practices strongly favor the male 
partner . 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Somalia has comprehensive labor legislation which establishes 
minimum safety and health conditions for the workplace. These 
are applicable to the small modern, or cash, sector of an 
economy that is predominantly pastoral and agricultural. The 
minimum age for employment of children is 15, and persons under 
18 years of age are not permitted to work at night or in 
certain hazardous occupations. However, the legislation is not 
effectively implemented. Also, on the margins of the formal 
economy, children sell cigarettes on the street, carry bags in 
the market, and watch and clean cars to support themselves and 
supplement family incomes. The established workday is 8 hours 
a day, with a total of 48 hours per week, and overtime hours 
can be limited. Workers are entitled to paid holidays, annual 
leave, and holiday bonuses. However, the salary scale is 
extremely low, especially in the public sector. The average 
salary of a civil servant is roughly $15 per month. Workers 
resort to second jobs, corruption, assistance from other family 
members, and remittances from abroad to support themselves and 
their families. Productivity in the public sector is extremely 
low, and many civil servants make minimal appearances in their 
offices. A civil service reform program, aimed at reducing 
public sector jobs by attrition and boosting salaries, has been 
initiated. 



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SOUTH AFRICA 



South Africa's laws codify the doctrine of apartheid, which 
prescribes the basic rights and obligations of people 
according to their racial or ethnic origin. The country's 
black majority (73.4 percent of its population) suffers from 
pervasive, legally sanctioned discrimination based on race in 
political, economic, and social aspects of life. The 
"colored" (mixed-race) and Asian minorities (9.1 percent and 
2.8 percent of the population respectively) also suffer from 
extensive racial discrimination, although to a somewhat lesser 
degree than South Africa's black population. While the 
Government claims that South Africa is a parliamentary 
democracy, blacks continue to be denied the right to vote in 
national elections and to be represented in Parliament. Until 
1984 South Africa's national political institutions were 
reserved for whites (14.7 percent of the population). A new 
Constitution was implemented in 1984 that created a tricameral 
Parliament with separate chambers for whites, coloreds, and 
Asians. The terms of the Constitution ensure continued 
parliamentary control by whites over key affairs. In 
addition, the executive branch (headed by a State President 
with strong powers) continues to be dominated by whites. 

White control of the Government is backed by a powerful 
defense and police establishment, especially the South African 
Defense Force (SADF) , with over 95,000 active duty personnel 
and nearly 400,000 reservists, and the South African Police 
(SAP), with 56,000 members. In recent years the SADF has been 
used to assist the SAP in internal security matters, 
especially in patrolling the black townships. The National 
Security Management System (NSMS), established to coordinate 
intelligence services and government departments, has assumed 
greater influence in the last few years over several aspects 
of government policy designed to minimize black discontent, 
including setting levels of state of emergency detentions as 
well as providing development assistance and social services. 
Critics maintained that the NSMS, staffed primarily by police 
and military officials, was developing into a "parallel 
government," accountable only to the cabinet-level State 
Security Council. During 1987 the Government also increased 
specia] black security forces known as "instant police" and in 
some cases gave tacit support to conservative black vigilante 
groups . 

Central to the policy of separate, racially based political 
institutions was the creation, beginning in the 1950's, of 10 
"homelands" to which all blacks were assigned on the basis of 
ethnic background. These homelands comprise only 13 percent 
of South Africa's area and are often small, fragmented bits of 
land in impoverished rural areas. Since 1976 the Government 
has granted "independence" to four homelands, thereby forcibly 
stripping an estimated 8 million South African blacks of their 
South African citizenship. In 1987 it underscored its 
determination to move ahead with this policy by continuing to 
incorporate more black residential areas into these 
homelands. South Africa is the only country that has 
recognized the "independence" of these homelands. Since the 
late 1970's, the Government has sought to introduce gradual 
and piecemeal reforms that ameliorate some aspects of 
apartheid but do not threaten continued white control of the 
nation's key political structures. At the same time, black 
opposition to apartheid has increased dramatically. This was 
especially so after the creation of the tricameral Parliament 
in 1984, which was seen as an attempt by the Government to 
freeze blacks out of national political participation. The 



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SOUTH AFRICA 

Government has reacted since 1985 with increasingly stringent 
restrictions on individuals' rights and repression of 
organized black opposition. 

Many apartheid laws discriminate against blacks in housing, 
employment, and education, serving to perpetuate an unusually 
high income disparity between whites and blacks. Starting in 
1984, a serious economic downturn aggravated the suffering of 
black South Africans and was a significant factor in fueling 
political unrest. In 1987 the overall economic situation 
improved, with indicators suggesting an annual real growth 
rate of about 2 to 3 percent over the next 2 years. However, 
local economists have estimated that an annual real growth 
rate above 5 percent is necessary for the economy to absorb 
the roughly 300,000 black entrants to the labor market each 
year. An even higher rate of growth would be necessary to 
reduce present black unemployment, which many private 
observers estimate at 25 to 30 percent, and as high as 70 
percent in some areas. 

The human rights situation in South Africa continued to 
deteriorate in 1987. A state of emergency, imposed in 1986 
and giving police and military extraordinary arrest and 
detention powers, was renewed in June 1987. The Government 
also rewrote many of the emergency regulations in 1987 to 
"close the loopholes" and make it more difficult for the 
judiciary to intervene in questions relating to the state of 
emergency. The Government has used these powers to arrest an 
estimated 30,000 people since June 1986. The United 
Democratic Front (UDF) , a loosely organized national movem.jnt 
of more than 600 antiapartheid groups, and various black trade 
unions have been special targets for detention. The 
Government imposed harsher curbs on the media and brought its 
program of limited reforms to a virtual halt. 

The level of political violence apparently declined in 1987 
from previous years, although at least 500 people died as the 
result of such violence during the year. The shadowy war 
between South African security forces and the African National 
Congress (ANC) escalated. The banned ANC is headquartered in 
exile in Lusaka, Zambia, while many of its leaders, including 
Nelson Mandela, remain in long-term imprisonment in South 
Africa. Throughout 1987 a number of bomb blasts, landmine 
explosions, and grenade attacks occurred in South Africa, many 
of which appeared to be ANC operations. South African 
security forces were involved in raids, bomb attacks, 
abductions, and assassinations directed against the ANC in 
various neighboring countries. State President Botha appealed 
throughout the year for black leaders to enter negotiations 
with the Government, but all credible black leaders maintained 
their refusal to enter talks until the Government met certain 
conditions, including the release of political prisoners, the 
removal of the ban on all political organizations, and the 
lifting of the state of emergency. In July a delegation of 
prominent, private, white South African citizens, including 
Afrikaners, traveled to Senegal for an exchange of views with 
leaders of the ANC on the future of South Africa — the first 
such meeting of its kind. Throughout the year there were 
unconfirmed rumors of contacts between government officials 
and external ANC leaders. 



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RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

Political violence continued to plague South Africa in 1987, 
though apparently at reduced levels compared to the 1984-86 
period. Due to restrictions on reporting of incidents of 
unrest, independent statistics on the number of deaths related 
to political unrest were difficult to obtain. The Government 
asserted that such deaths have declined dramatically since the 
imposition of the state of emergency in June 1986. It 
claimed, for example, that in May 1987, 8 blacks died in 
unrest-related violence, a decrease of 95 percent from the 
comparable figure of 157 deaths in May 1986. Fragmentary 
statistics based on the Government's daily "unrest reports" 
and other sources indicated that at least 500 people died in 
political violence during the year, compared to 1,289 deaths 
from political violence in 1986. 

Most of the deaths in 1987 resulted from violence within the 
black townships, and the vast majority of victims were 
blacks. Much of this violence resulted from fighting betv;een 
political factions. Overall, however, violence resulting from 
political strife within the black community was less prevalent 
than in 1986, and so-called "necklace" killings, in which the 
victim is executed by a burning tire placed around his neck, 
declined dramatically in 1987. This was mainly due to the 
state of emergency but also to strong discouragement of such 
acts by internal and external black political groups, 
including the ANC. Fragmentary statistics indicated deaths 
resulting from necklacing declined from the hundreds in 1986 
to perhaps no more than a dozen in 1987. 

Many other deaths were the result of excessive use of force by 
police, who sometimes quelled demonstrations with live 
ammunition, tear gas, birdshot, hard rubber clubs, or rubber 
bullets. In April six people were killed when police fired on 
a demonstration of striking railroad workers. During 1987 the 
Government augmented security forces by accelerating the 
recruitment of "Kitsconstabels" ("instant police"--cal led that 
because their training periods were short); these special 
police constables were first introduced in the black townships 
in 1986. Government critics charge that they have been 
responsible for numerous abuses. In February four people were 
shot and killed by Kitsconstabels in Grahamstown. 

Several deaths of persons in police custody occurred during 
the year, at least two of which appeared to be execution-style 
killings. In July ANC member Ashley Kriel was killed by 
police in a Cape Town home. An autopsy revealed that he had 
been shot in the back at point-blank range. In August Caiphus 
Nyoka, a high school student leader, was killed by police 
during a nighttime raid on his home in Daveyton, even though 
he had apparently offered no resistance. He had been shot in 
the forehead at close range. At the end of 1987, the 
Government had failed to provide any explanation or order any 
investigation in regard to Nyoka's death. 

In 1987 a series of court cases or out-of-court settlements 
also revealed police excesses. In February a member of the 
SAP was sentenced to 8 years' imprisonment for the "unprovoked 
and unnecessary" killing of a black youth in 1986. The 



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SOUTH AFRICA 

policeman had ordered the youth to run away and had then shot 
him as he ran. In April a court ruled that policemen in the 
Lebowa homeland were responsible for the April 1986 torture 
and deaths of two detainees. Lucky Kutumela, a journalist and 
member of the Azanian People's Organization (AZAPO) , and Peter 
Nchabaleng, a Transvaal provincial official of the UDF. The 
postmortem report on Nchabaleng concluded that he died after 
multiple blows with sticks or similar objects. An inquest 
magistrate found no one criminally liable for the 1985 death 
in police custody of trade unionist Andries Raditsela, but the 
Government agreed to pay compensation to Raditsela's family. 
In July the Government agreed to pay $650,000 to 51 people who 
were wounded or whose relatives were killed in the March 1985 
massacre of 20 blacks in the Langa township outside 
Uitenhage. Many of the victims, who had been demonstrating 
while on their way to a funeral, had been shot in the back. 
In September a Cape Town court exonerated two police officers, 
even though they had admitted shooting a young girl who had 
been watching police quell an antiapartheid demonstration. 
The court excused them on the basis that they were following 
the orders of a superior (who was not charged) . In October 
the trial began in the Eastern Cape Supreme Court of two 
policemen accused of murdering two black youths in Cradock, 
near Port Elizabeth. According to eyewitness testimony, one 
of the youths, Mlungisi Stuurman, who was arrested for wearing 
an antiapartheid shirt, was tortured in a police van with a 
plastic bag, beaten, and then shot in the back of the neck. 

The most serious violence resulting from political factional 
fighting in 1987 took place in Natal. In particular, clashes 
between UDF supporters and Inkatha members, who support 
KwaZulu Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, resulted in at least 268 
deaths during the year in the Pietermaritzburg area. The 
violence around Pietermaritzburg accelerated beginning in 
September, and efforts by several groups to mediate an end to 
the violence were unsuccesful as of the end of 1987. 

In addition, as a significant minority of blacks in South 
Africa espouse or condone violent opposition to apartheid, 
there were instances of violence and intimidation against 
blacks who were not complying with such protest activities as 
school or rent boycotts and strikes. Attacks by radical 
blacks on township government officials, black policemen, and 
other suspected "collaborators" continued, though at a lower 
rate than in 1986. The ANC helped fuel this violence since it 
continued to call on blacks to attack these so-called 
collaborators. The Government emphasized such intimidation as 
a justification for repressive actions against members of 
trade unions and community organizations. 

The Government also cited this intimidation as justification 
for support of, or in some cases acquiescence in, the 
activities of black vigilante groups. These groups were 
formed by conservatives for the ostensible purpose of ensuring 
neighborhood safety. In 1987 their activities increased as 
they engaged in armed attacks on dissidents and squatter 
communities. In some cases, the police assisted or stood 
aside during such attacks and the victims usually received no 
help from the police. In January a crowd of 1,500 armed 
vigilantes attacked UDF activists near Uitenhage while police 
looked on. Several eyewitnesses reported that police were 
directing the crowd of vigilantes to the homes of UDF 
activists. The vigilantes ransacked the homes and burned the 
possessions of the activists in the street. In May and June, 
four UDF activists died in vigilante attacks in the Eastern 



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Cape. UDF supporters in Natal came under increasing attack 
during the year from vigilantes. In July four UDF supporters 
were killed by vigilantes near Pietermar itzburg . In the 
Lebowa homeland, there were reports that a vigilante group had 
been formed by the homeland's ruling party to attack 
dissidents. In the homeland of KwaNdebele, the proindependence 
Mbokotho vigilante organization continued its violent campaign 
against the opponents of independence. 

One example of the Government's support for vigilante groups 
came in April with the Cape provincial administrator's 
appointment of Johnson Ngxobongwana and six of his supporters 
as the Crossroads town committee. Ngxobongwana and his 
vigilante organization had achieved notoriety in June 1986 for 
their violent ejection of their political opponents from the 
Crossroads squatter camp outside Cape Town with the support of 
the police. In October the Cape Town Supreme Court overturned 
this appointment and called on the Government to organize 
elections in the community. 

Throughout 1987 a pattern of killings and bomb blasts directed 
against antiapartheid groups and trade unions continued. One 
of the more prominent victims was Eastern Cape activist Eric 
Mntonga, who was murdered near King Williams Town in July. In 
May the headquarters building of the Congress of South African 
Trade Unions (COSATU) in Johannesburg was wrecked by a huge 
bomb explosion, and numerous other COSATU offices were 
vandalized or destroyed during the year. In August a bomb 
exploded at a building in Cape Town which housed COSATU and a 
number of antiapartheid organizations. At the end of the year 
there had been no arrests in connection with any of these 
incidents. The Government has had a number of successes in 
recent years in arresting those accused of antigovernment 
terrorist acts, but has shown an inability or unwillingness to 
pursue the perpetrators of violent acts directed against 
antiapartheid groups and persons, such as the December 1986 
murder of black political activist Dr. Fabian Ribeiro and his 
wife . 

The ANC, a revolutionary organization that since 1961 has 
openly advocated the overthrow of the South African 
Government, encouraged attacks on government offices and 
installations involved in the administration of apartheid but 
often equivocated or was silent on the question of 
responsibility for individual incidents of violence. 
Officials of the organization continued to disavow a strategy 
of deliberately hitting civilian targets. On May 20, two 
bombs exploded outside the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, 
killing four policemen and injuring numerous bystanders. The 
ANC armed wing, Umkhonto We Sizwe, subsequently claimed 
responsibility. On July 30, another bomb exploded near the 
Witwatersrand army headquarters in central Johannesburg, 
injuring 68 people. The ANC declined comment on what, if any, 
responsibility it had for the incident. 

The ANC maintained its position that armed white farmers in 
northern border areas of South Africa constitute part of the 
Government's security establishment. There were numerous 
reports of clashes between government forces and ANC 
guerrillas attempting to infiltrate the country. The SADF 
also struck at alleged ANC targets in neighboring countries, 
including raids in Zambia in April and in Mozambique in May. 
The Government claimed in September that 220 ANC "terrorists" 
had been killed or arrested in the first 8 months of 1987, a 
significant increase over 1986. In October the Government 



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SOUTH AFRICA 

arrested 11 people, charging them with involvement in a number 
of ANC-inspired attacks in the Cape area. Throughout the 
year, several dozen community activists around the country 
faced charges of furthering the aims of the ANC, and most were 
convicted. 

The Pan-Af ricanist Congress (PAC), another antiapartheid 
organization in exile, also advocated violent opposition to 
the South African Government and claimed that it had sent 
large amounts of arms into the country. 

b. Disappearance 

In recent years many people have disappeared, reportedly into 
police custody, for long periods. Some, missing for very long 
periods of time, are suspected by friends and associates to 
have been killed by security forces. South African law does 
not require notification of a person's family, lawyer, or any 
other person in the event of his detention or arrest, and 
prohibits the unauthorized publication of the name of any 
detainee if "the prevention of or combating of terroristic 
activities" is the reason for the detention. 

Since August 1986, the Minister of Law and Order periodically 
has tabled lists of state of emergency detainees in 
Parliament. These lists, which appeared to be incomplete, 
only included detainees held for at least 30 days. As of the 
end of 1987, this constituted the Government's only official 
public accounting of emergency detainees. Human rights 
monitoring groups estimated that substantial numbers of 
detainees have not been named in the Government's lists and 
maintained that in most cases family members were not informed 
of emergency detentions. 

Following the June 1986 emergency declaration, and in the wake 
of subsequent crackdowns on various opposition organizations, 
many black activists left the country surreptitiously or went 
into hiding to avoid detention. These circumstances further 
complicated the task of accurately accounting for the many 
persons who reportedly have disappeared. Government press 
curbs imposed in December 1986 prohibited news reporting on 
detention cases and on unresolved litigation concerning 
detentions without prior government clearance, which rendered 
the task of accounting for missing persons still more 
problematic . 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Security legislation, in particular the Internal Security Act 
(ISA), allows police generally unsupervised discretion in the 
arrest and detention of suspects and in the interrogation of 
detainees. People detained under the ISA may receive visits 
from their attorneys and families only at the discretion of 
the Commissioner of Police. This permission is often denied. 
The ISA allows for lengthy periods of incommunicado detention 
during which authorities are not obliged to present formal 
charges, a situation which provides considerable potential for 
police abuse of detainees. Laws exempting law enforcement 
officials from both criminal and civil liability for "good 
faith" acts undertaken in enforcing the state of emergency 
have been cited by many observers as giving police a license 
to engage in abusive conduct. 



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In 1986 and 1987, many persons who had been released after 
being detained under state of emergency and security 
regulations gave accounts of beatings and other abuses by 
police. One detailed 1986 survey, prepared by a medical panel 
of the Detainees' Parents Support Committee (DPSC), indicated 
that 83 percent of 500 released detainees showed signs of some 
physical abuse. Another survey, released in April by the 
National Medical and Dental Association, found that over half 
of the ex-detainees surveyed had been physically assaulted 
while in custody. 

Many persons reported that they had been held in solitary 
confinement during their detention. Others gave accounts of 
torture by police, including applications of electric shocks 
to hands, feet, and genitals. Many former detainees in the 
Port Elizabeth area reported that police had supplemented 
routine beatings and electric shocks with repeated suffocation 
as a means of extracting information. According to their 
affidavits, police tied wet plastic or canvas bags around the 
heads of prisoners and repeatedly applied rubber innertubes 
over their noses and mouths to suffocate them, often to 
unconsciousness. Journalists and others detained in 
KwaNdebele during the year produced a number of eyewitness 
accounts detailing the apparently routine beatings suffered by 
detainees in that homeland. 

Most torture occurred during and immediately following 
arrest. The chances of physical abuse taking place apparently 
diminish once a detainee is processed and made part of the 
general inmate population. Instances of abuse in prisons, 
while not unheard of, appear to be less frequent than at 
police stations. 

Those who work with released detainees, and academics who have 
studied the issue, maintain that youthful detainees are more 
subject to beatings and other forms of torture than are older 
detainees. One academic study of 83 children released in 1987 
found that 64 of them complained of assault and one-third were 
suffering "definable psychiatric illness." In April a news 
report described the case of Trevor Makhoba, a 16-year-old 
Soweto resident who claimed he was subjected to electric 
shocks while in detention. A pathologist who examined him 
within 72 hours of release confirmed he had thermal burns on 
his fingers "consistent with electrical burns." A police 
spokesman conceded Makhoba had a "strong case." 

On August 13, 22 young people ranging in age from 14 to 20 
years were arrested in Petrus Steyn, Orange Free State, for 
their support of the South African Youth Organization. Most 
were released after 2 days. Many of them alleged they had 
been assaulted by the police while in jail, and eight of them 
have filed assault charges. On September 2, a school boycott 
was called to protest the detentions. Large numbers of police 
arrived and attacked children (some as young as 8 years of 
age) leaving the school with hard rubber clubs. Six children 
were treated for injuries, and another six arrested. 

Police and other security force members were seldom held 
accountable in 1987 for abuse of detainees. While the 
Government conceded in some cases that such abuses occurred, 
the courts often imposed only token punishments on those found 
guilty. In 1987 the Government completed an investigation of 
credible allegations by Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Secretary 
General of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, 
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permitted one of the six accused SADF personnel to pay a small 
"admission of guilt" fine and absolved the other five 
soldiers. In October the Law and Order Minister, responding 
to the protests of Eastern Cape human rights activists, 
pledged to investigate charges of police torture of detainees. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

The ISA authorizes the Minister of Law and Order to order 
detention without trial for varying--in some instances 
unlimited--periods of time. Under Section 28 of the ISA, the 
Minister of Law and Order may issue "preventive detention" 
orders allowing for detention for up to 180 days in "unrest 
situations." Under Section 29 of the ISA, senior police 
officials have broad powers to detain people for interrogation 
when offenses such as terrorism, sabotage, or inciting a 
revolution are suspected. Access to ISA detainees is severely 
restricted . 

On June 11, 1987, the Government renewed the June 1986 state 
of emergency and issued new regulations which tightened and 
extended those originally promulgated in June 1986. Under the 
revised 1987 rules, the period for which SADF members and 
police officers down to the rank of constable are empowered to 
detain persons was extended from 14 days to 30 days. Police 
station cells may be used as the place of detention for the 
first 14 days only (the previous limit was 30 days), after 
which detainees must be transferred to prison cells unless the 
Commissioner of Police grants an exception. After 30 days the 
Minister of Law and Order may extend the detention for an 
indefinite period of time, limited only by the duration of the 
state of emergency. In June the Government issued new rules 
concerning the treatment of state of emergency detainees, 
giving them many of the rights granted to ordinary prisoners 
awaiting trial. However, in July an appeals court reaffirmed 
that emergency detainees may be denied access to lawyers and 
have no right to a hearing before the Minister extends the 
detention. 

As in 1986, black trade union officials and members of the UDF 
were particular targets of state of emergency detentions. By 
the end of 1987, most of the national leadership of the UDF 
had been detained and it was estimated that three of every 
four detainees were members of the UDF or affiliated 
organizations. The Government has detained the executive of 
the UDF-af filiated National Educational Crisis Committee 
(NECC) , an umbrella organization of parents, teachers, and 
students, which had entered into negotiations with the 
Government to end the widespread school boycotts of 1986. 
Opposition political leaders charged that many people were 
being detained under the emergency regulations on dubious 
evidence, often on the word of informers, who themselves may 
have been under pressure to accuse others. 

In April the Government acknowledged that 19,209 people had 
been detained between June 12, 1986, and April 15, 1987. It 
was unclear whether this figure included detentions of less 
than 30 days. The DFSC estimated that 30,000 people had been 
detained between June 1986 and October 1987, of whom 
approximately 8,000 were under the age of 18. According to 
government statistics, only 2,260 of these detainees had been 
criminally charged as of May 31. At the end of the year, the 
DPSC estimated a total of 1,500 people were still being 
detained under the state of emergency, with an additional 350 
held under the ISA. The Government's refusal to provide 



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specific statistics or complete lists of those being held made 
it difficult to confirm this or any other estimates of the 
number of detainees. 

In September the Minister of Law and Order said that 
115 children under the age of 18 were being held under the 
state of emergency and that 13 boys under the age of 17 were 
in detention under the ISA as of July 31. At the end of 1987, 
human rights groups estimated that some 250 children under the 
age of 18 were still in detention. 

Statistics on detentions failed to account fully for what 
appeared to be a common police tactic of detaining political 
activists, especially youths, and holding them for a few hours 
or overnight, during which time they were interrogated, 
threatened, and sometimes beaten. In addition, many people 
have been arrested on criminal charges during incidents of 
unrest. Human rights monitoring groups estimate that at the 
end of 1987 at least 1,500 people, many of them under the age 
of 18, were serving sentences for "public violence" as a 
result of convictions stemming from incidents of political 
unrest . 

Many political figures, community and human rights activists, 
lawyers, churchmen, trade union officials, journalists, and 
others have been detained under the state of emergency. 
Prominent figures remaining in detention at the end of 1987 
included UDF leaders Murphy Morobe and Mohammed Valli; 
Zwelakhe Sisulu, editor of the newspaper New Nation; law 
professor Raymond Suttner; and Eastern Cape activists Edgar 
Ngoyi , Henry Fazzie, and Mkuseli Jack. 

ANC leader Nelson Mandela, imprisoned after being convicted 
for sabotage in 1964, continued to serve a life sentence, 
despite repeated domestic and international calls for his 
release. International calls have also been made for the 
release of Zeph Mothopeng, leader of the PAC. In August the 
State President said that the renunciation of violence, 
previously an absolute condition for release of Mandela and 
other long-serving political prisoners, would be henceforth 
but one of several factors considered for a form of parole. 
In November Mandela's ANC colleague Govan Mbeki and several 
other long-serving political prisoners were freed (see 
below). State President Botha subsequently said that future 
releases of "security prisoners" would be determined by parole 
boards . 

The ISA also authorizes the Minister of Law and Order to issue 
"banning" orders severely restricting the activities of any 
person judged by the Minister to be endangering law and order, 
threatening state security, or "promoting the aims of 
communism" or an unlawful organization. According to the South 
African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) , over 1,400 South 
Africans have been banned at some time since 1950. In 1987 
the Government appeared to have abandoned the practice of 
banning persons under the ISA, possibly as a result of some 
banning orders being overturned by courts in 1986. However, 
numerous state of emergency detainees released from detention 
were subjected to restrictions on their movements and on their 
involvement in political matters. Still others, who had not 
been detained, were placed under state of emergency 
"restriction orders" which seriously curtailed their 
antigovernment activities. In December the Government placed 
stringent travel and contact restrictions on Govan Mbeki, the 
recently released ANC leader, and rallies planned in his honor 



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were banned. Banishment is still practiced in the 
"independent" homeland of Transkei . The DPSC reported in 
November that 14 people are known to be banished to remote 
areas of Transkei. 

Forced labor is not used in South Africa as a means of 
political coercion or education or as a sanction against 
political or ideological opinions. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The South African judiciary is headed by the Appellate 
Division of the Supreme Court in Bloemfontein and six regional 
Supreme Courts. All judges of South Africa's higher courts 
are white, as are the vast majority of its magistrates. They 
are appointed to the bench by the State President. Their 
service is until age 70, and they cannot be removed from 
office except by impeachment by Parliament. By tradition, 
judges of the Appeal Court and the Supreme Courts are 
appointed to the bench from the ranks of the elite corps of 
South African supreme court practitioners ("advocates"). 

South Africa has an adversarial system of criminal justice 
drawn from a mixed heritage of Roman-Dutch and British 
jurisprudence. Trials of lesser offenses are heard by 
magistrates, who are career employees of the civil service in 
the executive branch. More serious offenses, including 
capital crimes, are tried in the Supreme Courts. 
Determinations of guilt or innocence are made by the presiding 
judge or magistrate. There are no juries. Judges in capital 
and other serious cases are empowered to appoint two 
assessors, who serve as factfinders and who have the power to 
overrule the presiding judge on guestions of fact but not on 
guestions of law. Defendants in criminal cases, including 
"political" cases, have the right to counsel, but a 1987 
survey showed that 80 percent of those convicted in ordinary 
criminal cases had no representation. Courts usually appoint 
counsel in capital cases where the defendant cannot afford his 
or her own lawyer. 

Persons charged with common crimes are presumed innocent until 
proven guilty, although Parliament has modified this general 
presumption of innocence for many security offenses. The ISA 
effectively places the burden of proof of innocence on an 
accused for a number of offenses enumerated in the Act. Both 
security-related and common crimes cases are tried in civilian 
courts. Security trials are often held in remote locations, 
far from metropolitan areas, apparently in order to reduce 
attendance at such cases by journalists, human rights 
observers, and supporters of the accused. Because of case 
backlogs, postponements, and the practice of hearing cases 
concurrently, criminal trials, and particularly security 
cases, can sometimes take months, even years, to complete. 

The power of the South African judiciary at all levels is 
circumscribed by stringent security legislation--rewritten and 
tightened in 1987--and by the jurisprudential principle of 
parliamentary sovereignty, under which judges possess no 
authority to alter, strike down, or refuse to enforce properly 
enacted acts of Parliament. Nevertheless, the courts have 
been the focal point for much litigation to counter human 
rights abuses. Since the state of emergency declaration in 
June 1986, there have been a number of legal challenges to 
both the state of emergency and to the legality of the 
detention of persons under state of emergency regulations. In 



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the initial months of the June 1986 emergency, the courts 
ordered a small number of detainees freed and declared some 
emergency regulations unlawful. In most cases, however, the 
Government rewrote and reissued the regulations in ways that 
effectively prevented further court challenges. Moreover, the 
courts have consistently stated that the state of emergency 
itself was lawfully declared. In some instances, the 
Government has admitted abuses and reached out-of-court 
settlements . 

While South Africa's high courts have traditionally maintained 
a high degree of integrity and independence, there were 
indications during 1987 that the Government was seeking to 
increase its political influence over the judiciary. The 
Chief Justice of the Appeals Court agreed to remain in his 
position past the mandatory retirement age of 70, apparently 
in order to prevent a more liberal justice from succeeding 
him. There was evidence that the Government was acting to 
ensure that important security-related cases were heard only 
by more conservative, progovernment judges. 

The Delmas/Pretoria "treason" trial entered its third year 
during 1987. It appeared that the Government was using the 
unprecedentedly long trial to deny liberty to important 
government opponents who are among the accused. It is 
considered the most significant security/political trial in a 
generation, involving charges of high treason, murder, and 
other security offenses against 19 defendants who are members 
of the UDF, AZAPO, and various black civic organizations. 
Charges against 3 of the original 22 accused were dismissed in 
November 1986. Three important government opponents among the 
accused, Popo Molefe, Moss Chikane, and Patrick Lekota, all 
prominent UDF officials, have been denied bail and kept in 
custody throughout the trial. In March the trial judge 
dismissed one of the two assessors for having signed a UDF 
petition. The defense motion for a mistrial in the wake of 
this unprecedented action was subsequently rejected. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

The system of apartheid involves the Government in extensive 
regulation of social, personal, and family life. A person's 
identification as a member of an ethnic group or race is based 
on definitions and decisions of the Government under the 
Population Registration Act. Under this law, every child born 
in South Africa must be registered and classified according to 
race. In cases of dispute, such as when the parents' racial 
classification is not known, a racial classification board is 
empowered to weigh pseudoscientif ic "evidence" and to issue a 
verdict on a person's race. 

Under apartheid, association in many social settings is not a 
matter of free choice. The Separate Amenities Act allows 
public premises to be reserved for the exclusive use of 
persons of a particular race, and a substantial degree of 
social segregation, "petty apartheid," still legally exists in 
South Africa. In recent years, however, the Government has 
expanded the scope of administrative exceptions to apartheid 
laws and has allowed most restaurants, hotels, theaters, 
cinemas, private hospitals, parks, libraries, and other public 
facilities, upon application, to admit persons of all races. 
Many but by no means all private establishments have opted for 
"multiracial" status. The Government has allowed local option 
decisions on some social apartheid issues such as segregation 



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of business districts. Some local authorities, notably in the 
urban centers of Johannesburg and Cape Town, have used their 
limited discretion to desegregate facilities under their 
control, while others have not. By the end of the year, 55 
city governments had desegregated central business districts 
under an amendment to the Group Areas Act permitting such 
action in commercial areas. 

The Group Areas Act (GAA) of 1950 provides generally that 
certain designated areas of land can be owned or lived on only 
by individuals of specified races and that residential areas 
must generally be segregated on the basis of race. Under the 
Act, urban areas are designated for whites, coloreds, and 
Asians. Blacks are disqualified from owning and from 
occupying land in urban areas not designated for them. 
Authority to designate black urban areas is established by the 
Black Communities Development Act of 1958. 

Interracial couples must reside in the area designated for the 
less advantaged racial group, vitiating the benefits of the 
repeal of the miscegenation laws in 1985. Notwithstanding the 
GAA, a growing number of so-called gray areas exist in some 
major cities, where blacks, coloreds, and Asians reside in 
technically white areas, often without government 
interference. Some private schools in white-designated areas 
admit black, colored, and Asian students. Criminal 
convictions for violations of the GAA have been rare in recent 
years. Only 4 convictions resulted from 1,000 complaints 
filed during 1986. However, during 1987 some groups and 
individuals took it upon themselves to identify GAA violators, 
with the objective of forcing the Government to act. A deputy 
minister responsible for enforcement of the GAA told 
Parliament in 1987 that he had personally reported violations 
of the Act. In October the Government agreed in principle 
that certain residential areas might eventually be opened to 
all races upon local endorsement (with regional and national 
review provisions). It also indicated, however, that existing 
provisions of the GAA would be strictly enforced and 
reiterated that it would not permit multiracial public schools 
or seek repeal of the Separate Amenities Act. 

For blacks, even the right to reside in a segregated urban 
township is not available if one is deemed a "citizen" of one 
of the "independent" homelands. Such persons are regarded as 
aliens in "white" South Africa, and, notwithstanding their 
birth in South Africa, are subject to restrictions similar to 
those for any foreigner (see also Section 2.d. and Section 3). 
They must obtain work permits in order to reside in urban 
areas of "white" South Africa, and if they succeed in 
obtaining a work permit, they may not be accompanied by their 
spouses and children. Hundreds of thousands of such persons 
are forced by housing shortages to reside away from their 
families, often in overcrowded single-sex dormitories in urban 
areas . 

The Government owns virtually all urban black township 
property and subsidizes a program of rental housing. Local 
authorities in the black townships administer the program and 
collect rents. In 1986 Parliament granted blacks the 
opportunity to acquire permanent land tenure in appropriate 
group areas. Previously, blacks had only been able to lease 
land for 99 years, with the lease transferable and renewable 
upon sale. At the end of 1987 only a few houses had been sold 
to blacks on a permanent tenure basis, apparently due to 
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Many urban townships are lacking in some or all modern 
amenities, such as electricity and running water, but continue 
to become more crowded as rural poverty drives many people to 
seek jobs in urban centers. The restricted amount of land 
available in the townships has driven up prices for housing 
lots and led to corruption among township officials 
controlling the allocation of these lots. Some declared 
townships are little more than permanent shantytowns with 
"houses" constructed of fiberboard and corrugated iron. The 
lack of housing for blacks also has led to the development of 
large squatter communities. A report by the Black Sash 
organization estimated that some 5 million South African 
blacks were without adequate shelter. Townships are often 
located at extraordinarily long commuting distances from 
cities, where most employment opportunities for South Africa's 
blacks are found. 

The Land Acts of 1913 and 1936 limit rural land to white 
occupation, except for farm laborers whose numbers and freedom 
of movement are regulated by a number of other acts. In 
addition to the GAA, these Acts are the chief statutory bases 
for the South African Government's practice of "forced 
removals." Under these laws over the last three decades, the 
Government has forcibly reclocated black South Africans from 
"white" land, often to areas in the homelands with inadequate 
infrastructure and insufficient land and water for profitable 
agriculture. The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has 
estimated that since 1961, the Government has forcibly 
resettled approximately 3.5 million blacks, coloreds, and 
Asians. Government figures issued in 1984 asserted that 2 
million blacks had been resettled since 1960. In early 1985, 
the Government announced a suspension of forced removals in 
favor of a policy of negotiating with affected communities on 
relocation issues. However, in July 1987, the State President 
qualified this "no forced removals" pledge in a letter stating 
that there would be no forced removal "unless it is 
accompanied with the provision of better living conditions." 
In some situations, however, the Government has engaged in 
effectively coercive removals by refusing to maintain the 
infrastructure of black communities it seeks to remove and 
engaging in physical threats and aggressive actions aimed at 
convincing reluctant people to "agree" to move. 

On December 2 the Government forcibly removed some 600 people 
from Noordhoek (near Cape Town) to a tent city in 
Khayelitsha. Although the Government labeled them 
"squatteis," some of the families removed had been in 
Noordhoek for generations. Most lost their jobs in Noordhoek 
as they were no longer close enough to commute. At the end of 
1987, human rights groups were concerned that the Government 
planned to forcibly remove several other "squatter" 
communities around the country. 

The Government continued its efforts to move the 8,000 
remaining residents of the 60-year-old black community of 
Oukasie, near the town of Brits, to a site near the 
Bophuthatswana border. Many of these people opposed removal 
on the suspicion that the community where they would be 
resettled would eventually be incorporated against their will 
into the "independent" homeland of Bophuthatswana, a move that 
could strip them of their South African citizenship. In the 
case of the people of the Mogopa clan, whose situation had 
become desperate since their forced resettlement on arid land 
in 1984, the displaced clan threatened to march en masse to 
reoccupy their former land. The Government offered to find a 



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mutually acceptable alternative site, and at the end of 1987 
negotiations continued. 

Studies completed during 1987 indicated that the Government's 
policy of settling blacks on arid land far from population 
centers was beginning to have serious consequences in the area 
of nutrition as well as housing. The Operation Hunger 
organization, in a survey of malnutrition, reported that South 
African rural blacks, particularly those in the "independent" 
homelands, may be more impoverished than rural Africans in 
neighboring countries. 

Various laws give police the authority in specific 
circumstances to enter homes without a warrant, including 
situations where an officer has reason to believe a warrant 
would be issued but the delay caused by first obtaining the 
warrant would defeat the purpose of the search. In practice, 
police often enter and search homes of black activists as a 
means of intimidation. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

During 1987 the Government took a number of measures to 
further restrict both the local and foreign press. Despite 
these restrictions, some segments of South Africa's largely 
white-owned press continued, when possible, to engage in at 
times vigorous criticism of the Government and its policies. 
State of emergency regulations impair freedom of expression 
and press by making "subversive statements" a criminal offense 
(e.g., encouraging strikes, boycotts, or the promotion of 
disinvestment) . The regulations also ban television coverage, 
still photography, sketching, and radio recording from areas 
covered by the state of emergency. Media may not report on 
police or security force operations in "unrest situations," 
except as information, always limited, is released by the 
Government. Penalties for infractions include fines up to 
$8,000 and imprisonment up to 10 years. 

In December 1986, the Government issued an even tighter set of 
press restrictions which make it a criminal offense to publish 
material on political unrest, detention cases, the treatment 
of detainees, and various types of political activity without 
prior government clearance. These restrictions greatly 
reduced media coverage, particularly through television, of 
political unrest. 

In 1987 the Government repeatedly threatened to take action 
against the press, particularly what it calls the "alternative 
media," a group of mostly liberal newspapers, including 
church-sponsored weeklies, not associated with the major 
establishment publishing houses. In August new regulations 
streamlined the method by which publications can be censored 
and gave the Minister of Home Affairs the power to close a 
publication for up to 3 months. These new measures further 
curbed the ability of journalists to report on activities such 
as labor disputes, "ext rapar liamentary" organizations, and 
life and thought in the black community. The latest 
regulations are sufficiently vague to create an atmosphere of 
uncertainty among journalists, resulting in a situation in 
which self-censorship is rife, and many newspaper editors must 
surrender ultimate editing responsibility to their lawyers. 
While there were no known convictions of journalists in 1987 
under the various laws or regulations, some were detained (see 
Section l.d.). In addition, journalists have experienced 



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various forms of harassment, including the theft of personal 
papers and stoning of their houses. 

The Government also impeded the flow of information from South 
Africa by refusing visa requests by foreign journalists or by 
subjecting them to inordinate delays. In early 1987, the 
Government refused to grant a visa for anyone to replace the 
departing New York. Times correspondent; the paper subsequently 
hired a South African citizen. In May American correspondent 
Steve Mufson was expelled from South Africa, and Detroit Free 
Press correspondent David Turnley was ordered to leave in 
November. The Government reported that 238 foreign 
journalists had been refused new or renewed visas during the 
July 1986-May 1987 period. 

Under the Publications Act (applicable to most periodicals, 
with the exception of newspapers), the importation, 
possession, and publication of politically or morally 
"undesirable" works is prohibited. Materials subject to 
censorship include those found to be "indecent or obscene," 
"blasphemous," or "prejudicial to the safety of the State." 
Committee decisions are subject to review by a Publications 
Appeal Board. The board's decisions are not subject to 
judicial review, except in rare instances. 

The Government exercises a near monopoly on television and 
radio broadcasting through the state-owned South African 
Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) . With some exceptions, SABC 
reflects progovernment viewpoints both in its news reporting 
and editorial policy. While the Government professes that 
SABC is politically independent, a wide range of the political 
spectrum, from the liberal Progressive Federal Party to the 
right-wing Conservative Party, characterizes the SABC as an 
editorial arm of the ruling National Party. In August the 
State President personally intervened to change a television 
news story concerning the resignation of colored Labor Party 
leader Allan Hendrickse from the Cabinet. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The ISA seriously obstructs freedom of assembly, as it gives 
magistrates the power to ban or impose conditions on the 
holding of public meetings and to close off areas to the 
public to prevent prohibited gatherings. A ban on all outdoor 
gatherings except sports events or specially authorized 
meetings, in effect since 1976, was renewed again in 1987. 
Also banned are indoor meetings of many antigovernment 
organizations, including the UDF, AZAPO, the Release Mandela 
Campaign, and the DPSC. In 1987 tighter restrictions were 
placed on funerals of political activists or victims of 
unrest, limiting the number of mourners and prohibiting 
political speeches. Police frequently arrested persons in 
townships on charges of participating in illegal gatherings. 
The Government also maintained a ban on a number of important 
political organizations, including such as the PAC, the ANC, 
and the Congress of South African Students. 

During 1987 the Government continued a policy of hindering the 
UDF by detaining key leaders. Although the movement contains 
elements that adhere to the more revolutionary values of the 
ANC, most UDF member organizations advocate nonviolent 
political and social change. In October 1986, the Government 
declared the UDF an "affected organization," meaning it could 
no longer receive funds from abroad. This action was 
subsequently overturned by a court ruling, and the 



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Government's appeal of this decision was still pending at the 
end of 1987. 

A number of protest demonstrations on college campuses were 
forcibly dispersed by police, resulting in many injuries and 
arrests. In October the Minister of National Education and 
Culture announced new regulations requiring universities to 
curb antiapartheid protests on their campuses as a condition 
for continued state funding. Several prominent university 
officials rejected these conditions as representing 
unacceptable restrictions on free speech, peaceful assembly, 
and academic freedom, and many students, mostly at 
English-speaking universities, demonstrated against the 
regulations . 

The South African Labor Relations Act recognizes the right of 
employees to form and to join trade unions and to engage in 
collective bargaining. In 1987 more than 2 million workers 
were union members in a labor force of 12 million. Slightly 
over a million of these union members were black, compared to 
about 100,000 black union members in 1979, before blacks were 
granted full status as employees and allowed to form trade 
unions . 

The Labor Relations Act does not cover the approximately 2 
million farm workers and domestic servants (about one-sixth of 
the total labor force). These workers, nearly all of whom are 
black, enjoy few protections under the law. With the 
qualified exception of KwaZulu, none of the homelands has 
labor legislation to match the post-1979 reforms passed by the 
South African Parliament. Ciskei and Transkei have banned a 
major trade union active in the Eastern Cape (the South 
African Allied Workers Union), and Bophuthatswana has 
prohibited unions headquartered elsewhere from operating in 
its territory. 

The right to strike under the Labor Relations Act is qualified 
by a mandatory prestrike conciliation process that can take as 
long as 2 months to complete. Nearly all strikes in recent 
years have been staged by black unions, and most of them have 
been technically illegal. In certain circumstances, an 
employer may fire a striker (whether the strike is legal or 
illegal) on grounds of breach of the person's employment 
contract. A 1985 opinion of the Industrial Court, however, 
significantly improved the position of legal strikers. In 
June 1987, the Industrial Court ruled that employees taking 
part in "work stayaways" (such as one called to mark Soweto 
Day on June 16) were not acting illegally as long as they did 
not make economic or political demands on the employer. 

In September the Government tabled before Parliament the 
proposed labor relations amendment bill. Trade union leaders 
feared that this legislation would make legal strikes more 
difficult by giving state labor inspectors authority to 
indefinitely extend the period of conciliation (during which a 
strike would not be legal) at the request of one of the 
parties in the dispute. The proposed amendments would also 
outlaw sympathy strikes and boycotts and weaken the power of 
the Industrial Court, which has a reputation for fairness. 

This toughened legislation was seen as a response to a wave of 
strikes in the first half of 1987. A strike of several months 
by some 17,000 black workers against the government-owned 
South African Transport Services was marked by violence and 
destruction of property. In August approximately 250,000 



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black mine workers engaged in a 3-week wage strike, the 
largest work stoppage in South African history. Although the 
National Union of Mineworkers failed to obtain the wage 
increases it demanded, the massive strike demonstrated the 
ability of black trade unions to mobilize workers and 
articulate grievances. 

South African trade unions are independent of the Government. 
A few of them have links with a political party or movement, 
including the all-white South African Confederation of Labor, 
with about 100,000 members, which is widely believed to have 
ties to the right-wing Herstigte Nasionale Party (HNP); 
COSATU, which is a de facto ally of the UDF; and the United 
Workers Union of South Africa, which is associated with 
Inkatha. The Government does not prohibit trade union 
relations with the international labor movement, but none of 
the South African labor federations have chosen to affiliate 
with any international labor organizations. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

South Africa has a wide variety of religious denominations, 
and the Government generally respects freedom of worship. 
Religious organizations are allowed to hold meetings and other 
activities without interference as long as they do not 
seriously challenge government policies. As with other 
aspects of South African life, churches are often divided 
along racial lines, but many churches (including a growing 
number of white churches) challenge apartheid on moral 
grounds. The Defense Act provides alternative service options 
for religious objectors to national military service (whites 
only are drafted). However, End Conscription Campaign (ECC) 
activists maintain that such options are granted only rarely, 
and that members of mainstream Christian churches never 
qualify for these alternatives. Conscientious objectors on 
nonreligious grounds continue to be subject to a maximum 
6-year sentence for refusing to serve. 

The Government is often at odds with a number of the country's 
church leaders, some of whom are outspoken critics of the 
apartheid system. These include Anglican Archbishop of Cape 
Town Desmond Tutu; Rev. Allan Boesak, President of the World 
Alliance of Reformed Churches; and Archbishop Denis Hurley, 
Head of the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban. Some church 
leaders, most notably Archbishop Tutu, have openly advocated a 
range of actions by the international community against South 
Africa. Such remarks drew heavy criticism from government 
officials . 

Churchmen have been frequent targets of detention, nearly 
always without charge, both by South African authorities and 
by police in the "independent" homelands. Sister Bernard 
Ncube, President of the Federation of Transvaal Women, was 
released in October after 16 months in detention. Dean Simon 
Farisani of the Evangelical Lutheran Church was released from 
detention in February but has remained abroad, fearing that he 
would be restricted to the "independent" homeland of Venda 
upon his return to South Africa. In March Father James 
Paulsen, an American citizen, was released by the authorities 
in Transkei, where he had been held without charge since 
December 1986. Father Paulsen reported that he had been 
tortured by Transkeian police during his detention. In 
October Rev. Abram Maja, Executive Secretary of the Northern 
Transvaal Council of Churches, was acquitted after being 
charged with possession of subversive documents. Rev. Maja 



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had spent over 1 year in detention, however, before having the 
opportunity to defend himself in court. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Since the repeal of the pass laws in 1986, black South African 
citizens are no longer required to carry government-issued 
passes in order to prove to law enforcement officers their 
right to be present in an urban area. While this represented 
a significant reform, some government critics charge that a de 
facto system of influx control has been maintained through 
urban housing shortages, antisquatting laws, and sanctions 
against employers who hire "illegal aliens" from the four 
"independent" homelands. Regulations requiring "citizens" of 
"independent" homelands to obtain work permits for employment 
in the rest of South Africa could provide a basis for future 
"deportations" of large numbers of people to the "independent" 
homelands . 

Assignments of blacks to homelands take place irrespective of 
the wishes of those assigned and without regard to the fact 
that they may not have been born, nor ever lived in or even 
visited, their putative homeland. When a homeland is granted 
"independence" by the Government, blacks assigned to that 
homeland lose their South African citizenship and receive the 
"citizenship" of the homeland. An estimated 8 million blacks 
have lost South African citizenship under this policy by South 
African legislation granting "independence" to four 
homelands: Transkei (1976); Bophuthatswana (1977); Venda 
(1979); and Ciskei (1981). Other homelands may be moving 
toward such spurious "independence" (see Section 3). 

In 1986 a new law provided for "restoration" of South African 
citizenship to a limited class of blacks who were 
denationalized as a result of homeland "independence" 
grants--those with "permanent residence" rights in South 
Africa. The Government has estimated that this reform will 
apply only to about 1.75 million of the 4 million "citizens" 
of "independent" homelands residing outside those homelands. 

South Africans must possess valid travel documents in order to 
travel abroad or to emigrate legally. These documents 
generally are not difficult for whites to obtain, although 
some white antiapartheid activists have been denied 
passports. Blacks assigned to an "independent" homeland 
usually experience difficulty in obtaining South African 
passports as the Government takes the position that they are 
not citizens of South Africa. In some instances, this has the 
effect of deterring international travel as some blacks refuse 
to travel on a homeland passport, insisting that the 
Government recognize them as citizens of South Africa. In 
1982 the Rand Supreme Court ruled that the Minister of Home 
Affairs has the absolute discretion to revoke a passport 
without giving any reasons for his action. The Government 
often refuses passports to persons whom it regards as 
radically critical of the status quo, e.g., in May to a number 
of South Africans planning to attend a World Council of 
Churches conference in Lusaka (including UDF Co-President 
Albertina Sisulu and Bishop Solomon Serote of the Evangelical 
Lutheran Church), and in September to Jay Naidoo, Secretary 
General of COSATU, and several other prominent persons invited 
to a major conference on South Africa in the United States. 

Although South Africa is not a party to international 
conventions on refugees, the Government provides informal 



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sanctuary to as many as 225,000 Mozambicans displaced by civil 
strife. These refugees are allowed to remain in the homelands 
of KaNgwane and Gazankulu or work as farm laborers in the 
eastern Transvaal. Those Mozambicans outside these areas 
without permission who are apprehended are forcibly 
repatriated to Mozambique without an interview to determine 
whether they are refugees and whether they can be safely 
returned. The Government reports it returns up to 1,800 
Mozambicans per month. It is not known how many of these are 
refugees and how many are economic migrants. Relief 
assistance in the homelands is provided by South African 
private and voluntary organizations as well as by the 
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the 
Government permits access by international observers to areas 
where these refugees are found. 

The Government has taken harsh measures to prevent the entry 
of more Mozambicans. It erected an electrified fence, 
reportedly without warning signs, along the South African 
border with Mozambique. In 1987 at least 40 people were 
electrocuted while trying to enter South Africa. 

The SACC estimates the total number of South African exiles to 
be 250,000 or more. The number of South Africans who are 
officially registered as refugees in neighboring countries and 
benefit from assistance from the U.N. High Commisioner for 
Refugees has not grown significantly since 1985 and remains 
approximately 22,000. Most of these refugees are affiliated 
in some way with one of the antiapartheid organizations in 
exile. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

The extent to which South African citizens have the right to 
change their government democratically depends on race. The 
majority of them, the blacks, have no such right. The new 
Constitution created a tricameral Parliament with separate 
chambers for whites, coloreds, and Asians. Officially 
registered political parties may operate freely. The 
respective groups are represented in the tricameral Parliament 
on a racial ratio of 4/2/l--white/colored/Asian. Members of 
each house are elected from separate, racially based voter 
rolls. Each house has primary responsibility for its "own 
affairs," i.e., legislation affecting its own racial 
constituency. The State President has complete discretion to 
decide which issues of general concern are to be treated by 
all three chambers. If the three chambers fail to reach 
consensus on legislation that has been declared to be "general 
affairs," the bill may be referred to the President's Council, 
an appointed body composed of whites, coloreds, and Asians, 
for a ruling. If the bill is ruled on favorably by the 
President's Council, the bill is deemed to have been passed by 
Parliament. The ruling white National Party controls the 
President's Council. The lines between "own affairs" and 
"general affairs" are not always precise. Matters that are 
usually considered general affairs include foreign policy, 
defense, national security, and black affairs. Education is 
normally dealt with as an "own affair" but is subject to 
general laws prescribing norms and standards for salaries, 
curriculum, and examinations. 

The terms of the new Constitution and the existence of a white 
majority in Parliament ensure control by the white House of 
Assembly over key general affairs. While there is opposition 



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in the House of Assembly, the majority National Party has 
controlled South African political power and legislative 
affairs since its first parliamentary victory in 1948. Within 
the National Party, opinions on reform of the apartheid system 
range from moderate to reactionary. Internal differences are 
in theory resolved in party caucuses, but in practice the 
State President, who is also the National Party leader, 
resolves disputes. In elections in May among white voters, 
the ruling National Party won 123 of the 166 white House of 
Assembly seats. The Conservative Party replaced the 
Progressive Federal Party as the official opposition, gaining, 
along with the far right-wing HNP, 30 percent of the total 
vote . 

In August Allan Hendrickse, leader of the colored House of 
Representatives, resigned his cabinet position to protest 
delays in repealing apartheid laws and threatened to veto the 
Government's plan to delay the 1989 "white election" until 
1992. At the end of 1987, Indian House of Delegates leader 
Amichand Rajbansi was the only non-Afrikaner member of the 
Cabinet . 

Political participation for blacks, who have no representation 
in Parliament, remains limited to a franchise in their 
respective homelands or, in the case of urban blacks, to a 
franchise enabling them to vote for black local government 
officials. In 1987 the SAG continued to be committed to the 
"grand apartheid" scheme of eventually giving "independence" 
to more homelands. The Government announced agreement in 
September between it and representatives of Lebowa , QwaQwa, 
Gazankulu, and KwaNdebele to give more autonomy to these 
homelands. In December the Government announced that the 
large black township of Botshabelo, near Bloemf ontein, had 
been incorporated into the homeland of QwaQwa. According to 
opinion polls, residents of Botshabelo had strongly opposed 
this move. At the end of the year, rumors persisted that 
QwaQwa was also slated for "independence," but there was no 
official confirmation of this. 

KwaNdebele had been slated in December 1986 to be the fifth 
homeland to become "independent." The Government reassessed 
these plans, however, because of continuing political violence 
in the homeland and revelations of extensive corruption and 
criminal allegations against George Mahlangu, the KwaNdebele 
Chief Minister. At the end of the year the issue was still 
unresolved, and the situation in KwaNdebele remained tense. 
In December the Government announced that the township of 
Ekangala near Pretoria had been transferred to KwaNdebele. 

More than 10 million blacks live in townships near white urban 
areas. The only voting rights they are able to exercise are 
those granted under the Community Councils Act of 1977 and the 
Black Local Authorities Act of 1982. The latter Act elevated 
the formal status of black municipal authorities to that 
enjoyed by white municipal governments. However, black local 
governments still face critical problems of inadequate 
financial resources and lack of political credibility. 
Although violence against black town councillors decreased in 
1987, they continued to be viewed by most blacks as 
collaborators with the Government. In many areas, seats on 
town councils remained vacant due to community opposition., and 
many who did serve on these bodies were forced to live in 
guarded, fortified compounds. In late 1987, the Government 
claimed that 85 percent of local black authorities vjere fully 
functioning . 



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The Government has proposed some formulas to give blacks a 
limited role in the political process. Legislation in 1985 
replaced all-white provincial councils, which oversee 
utilities and other local services, with multiracial Regional 
Services Councils (RSC's), with no racial group to hold more 
than 50 percent of the seats. The Government, however, has 
failed to draw any blacks with popular support into the 
RSC's. Representation on the RSC's is allocated according to 
the amount of utilities the various areas consume, a formula 
which results in black areas receiving only a small percentage 
of the seats. In 1987 the Government proposed a national 
council, a body to which blacks would be elected or appointed 
to serve in an advisory capacity regarding a new 
constitutional political structure for South Africa. The 
national council has been denounced by all major 
extrapar liamentary groups as a device to give the appearance 
but not the reality of power sharing. At the end of 1987, a 
parliamentary committee was reviewing the proposal with 
particular regard to the disproportionate representation 
envisioned in the original bill, which would leave whites in 
control of the council. 

In November the Government launched the Natal/KwaZulu Joint 
Executive Authority ( JEA) , which will administer various 
government services in the province, but will not exercise any 
legislative powers. Some observers saw the JEA as the first 
step towards a multiracial provincial legislature, such as 
envisioned in the Indaba (see below), while others 
characterized it as a move to preempt the Indaba. 

The Indaba--a convention representing all racial groups and a 
wide range of social and political organizations--met for 
several months in 1986 to formulate proposals for a new 
constitution for a unified KwaZulu/Natal . It was initiated by 
politicians outside the Government, and the ruling National 
Party had observers but no participants in the Indaba. The 
proposals provide (among other provisions) for a bill of 
rights, firm constitutional guarantees of individual 
liberties, and a universal franchise to elect a bicameral 
legislature. The Government has not endorsed the Indaba 
proposal but has yet to make a formal cabinet response. 
Indaba leaders are continuing with plans for a widespread 
education campaign among the voters (of all races) of KwaZulu 
and Natal, leading eventually to a referendum on the proposals, 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government extends little cooperation to various United 
Nations bodies or private organizations attempting to 
investigate the Government's human rights record. During 1987 
the Government permitted the International Commission of 
Jurists to send a delegation to investigate the human rights 
situation in South Africa. The Government refused numerous 
requests by foreigners to meet with Nelson Mandela. 

Since the October 1986 vote of an International Red Cross 
conference in Geneva to expel a South African government 
delegation from the conference, the Government has permitted 
the ICRC to maintain only a reduced staff in South Africa. 
The ICRC continues to negotiate with the Government for access 
to all prisoners arrested for security-related offenses, 
including those detained under the state of emergency. In 
1987 the ICRC did not visit any category of prisoners. 



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including those several hundred security prisoners who were 
visited in previous years. 

Many South African organizations observe, report, and contest 
human rights violations in the country. In addition to black 
political organizations, the Lawyers for Human Rights, the 
Black Sash, the Legal Resources Center, the SACC, the DPSC, 
the ECC, the Center for Applied Legal Studies, the Human 
Rights Trust in Port Elizabeth, and other groups are actively 
involved in a wide range of human rights issues and assist 
persons who suffer from the application of apartheid and 
security laws. The annual report of the SAIRR is a key source 
on human rights questions in South Africa. In December 1986, 
the Government entered restriction orders against a number of 
Black Sash, DPSC, and ECC leaders, prohibiting them from 
engaging in certain types of political activity. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social status 

South Africa's black majority and, to a somewhat lesser 
extent, the colored and Asian communities, suffer from 
pervasive, legally sanctioned discrimination based on race in 
political, economic, and social aspects of life. For example, 
in the area of education, according to SAIRR, per capita 
expenditure for education during 1984-85 was 6.22 times 
greater for whites than for blacks. In 1987 the Government 
announced a 40 percent increase in spending for black 
education, but reiterated that separate educational facilities 
would be maintained. Black enrollment at "white" universities 
has been growing slowly. After the 1984-86 political unrest, 
which disrupted education in many of the country's townships, 
most black students ended their school boycotts in 1987. 
Security forces maintained a strong presence around schools in 
many of the major townships, and student activists were often 
harassed or detained. 

In August Parliament removed the last statutory authorization 
of racially based job reservation by repealing a law which had 
reserved 13 categories of skilled and supervisory occupations 
in the mining industry for whites. However, the draft 
regulations to replace these provisions would still severely 
limit the number of blacks who could compete for these 
positions by imposing language, citizenship, and education 
requirements . 

Women of all races in South Africa suffer varying degrees of 
legal, cultural, and economic discrimination, most of which is 
based on tradition rather than codified in law. Women 
traditionally earn lower wages than men and are generally 
underrepresented in the country's political and business 
establishment. No women presently serve as ministers in the 
Government. Two women serve as members of the State 
President's Council. Five of the 178 seats in the 
Parliament's white House of Assembly are held by women. The 
colored House of Representatives has two women members, and 
the Asian House of delegates has one. Women have generally 
achieved more success in electoral politics at the local than 
at the national level. 

Black women suffer not only from extensive legal 
discrimination under South Africa's system of apartheid, but 
also from other legal disabilities based on sex. Black women 
are regarded by South African law as perpetual minors. 
Maternity benefits are not guaranteed to women of any race 



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SOUTH AFRICA 

under South African law, and pregnancy is a legal basis for 
dismissal from a job. A women's rights movement has taken 
hold in South Africa, and women's organizations, often 
multiracial, have been at the forefront of the struggle 
against both race and sex discrimination. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

The Government released the following unemployment statistics 
in 1987: whites, 3.5 percent; coloreds, 10.7 percent; Asians, 
10.8 percent; and blacks, 17.5 percent (not including the 
"independent" homelands, where unemployment is much higher). 
Many private observers believe that this greatly understates 
actual unemployment, as many blacks do not register as 
unemployed. Private estimates of total black unemployment 
(including the homelands) are in the 25 to 30 percent range. 
In some areas, especially in the eastern Cape, black 
unemployment rates are dramatically higher, reaching over 50 
percent . 

The Labor Relations Act of 1956 provides a mechanism for 
negotiation between labor and management to set industry-by- 
industry minimum wage standards. At present, some 101 
industries come under the provisions of the Act. There is no 
universal minimum wage in South Africa. The Occupational and 
Safety Act prohibits the employment of minors under the age of 
16 in certain industries. The Act also sets forth minimum 
standards for employment, including a standard workweek of 46 
hours in most industries, as well as vacation and sick leave. 
The Machinery and Occupational Safety Act mandates minimum 
standards for the design and use of certain types of 
industrial machinery and the standards are enforced. 



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SUDAN 



Sudan's young parliamentary government faced a series of 
problems in 1987, including civil war, a deteriorating 
economy, and the necessity to maintain the fragile governing 
coalition. Despite mounting problems, Sudan's democratic 
system operated with openness. National issues were aired, 
contested, and debated in a variety of public forums, 
including the media. Individual rights of Sudan's citizens 
were generally respected by the Government in areas firmly 
under its control, but the record was severely blemished in 
the contested areas and towns of the south and west. 

Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi's majority coalition of the Umma 
and the Democratic Unionist (DUP) parties was dissolved by 
interparty squabbling in May and again in August, only to be 
reconstituted essentially intact each time. A five-man 
Council of State, selected by the ruling parties, and approved 
by the Constituent Assembly, shares executive power with the 
Council of Ministers. Under represented in the Assembly because 
conflict precluded elections in 37 of the 68 constituencies, 
Southerners are nonetheless an active part of the political 
scene in the capital. The goal of holding a national 
constitutional conference to redress Southern grievances and 
end the civil war remained unmet at the end of 1987. 

The Sudanese People's Armed Forces (SPAF) a 60,000 member army 
supported by a small air force and navy, is responsible for 
both external and internal security. To supplement regular 
troops, the Government has armed several tribal militias in 
contested areas. These forces confront the Sudanese People's 
Liberation Army (SPLA) , led by John Garang, throughout the 
vast territory of the three southern provinces. Martial law 
is in effect in the southern part of the country controlled by 
the Government, but much of the territory in the south 
experiences no effective rule. 

Against the background of civil strife, with a burden of about 
1 million refugees from neighboring countries and another 
estimated 2 million internally displaced persons, the economy 
continued to deteriorate in 1987, with a further drop in 
export earnings, high inflation, high unemployment, and 
growing foreign debt ($11 billion). Severe pockets of hunger 
arose, attributable to civil war, inadequate rainfall, 
dislocations of people, and plagues of locusts and rats. With 
assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the 
Government introduced a politically unpopular but vital 
economic reform program in October 1987, The program includes 
austerity measures such as a currency devaluation, import 
restrictions, and subsidy reductions which have caused general 
economic hardship and spawned demonstrations and riots. The 
Government is likely to face continued popular opposition to 
the program as further reforms are enacted. Although it is 
too early to judge the success of the reforms, the 
international donor community has strongly supported the 
reforms, since they are a critical element for revitalizing 
the economy. 

Overall, the human rights situation deteriorated in the south, 
where the civil war continued unabated. The SPLA expanded 
operations during the June-October rainy season, then further 
extended operations north along the Ethiopian border in 
December. Fighting was occasionally fierce. As evidenced by 
dislocations, massacres, and attacks on civilian targets, 
innocent people were caught in the crossfire and turmoil of 



294 



SUDAN 

war. In particular, government-armed militias were involved 
in several massacres. Humanitarian food relief efforts for 
the south were frustrated by both sides. The SPLA attacked 
food relief convoys, and the Government was reluctant to move 
relief supplies due to security concerns and fears that the 
supplies would go to the insurgents. 

Sudan's overarching legal debate centered on whether to 
maintain Shari'a law--a Koranic legal system which provides 
for harsh corporal punishments--as a national legal system 
applicable to all persons regardless of religious persuasion. 
The Shari'a law issue has been the major obstacle to peace in 
Sudan's civil war. In 1983 former President Gaafar Nimeiri 
imposed a stiff version of Shari'a law known as the "September 
laws." Nearly all Sudanese agree that the "September laws" 
should be replaced. The Government, dominated by northern 
Muslims has insisted that the "September laws" are a 
misapplication of Shari'a law and should be replaced with a 
Shari'a code faithful to the Koran. A very large majority of 
southerners, who are nearly all either Christians or animists, 
strongly oppose any form of Shari'a law. At the end of 1987, 
the Government was considering an alternative code to replace 
the "September laws" with stiffer evidentiary requirements. 
The new code would also reportedly reduce, though not 
eliminate, corporal punishments. Fifteen out of 168 elements 
of Shari'a law were eliminated in December. They involved 
minor offenses. The repeal of some additional elements of 
Shari'a law are expected in early 1988. 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There have been few reported cases of political killing. One 
reported case concerned a Southerner, Nuka Ngor Baak, Director 
of the Forestry Department in Bahr el Ghazal Province, who was 
abducted from his home on May 14, 1987, allegedly by men in 
military uniform. His body was later found nearby. 
Northerners claim that the SPLA engages in political killings, 
although lack of access to the SPLA-control led areas prevents 
investigation. 

b. Disappearance 

As as result of movements of people because of war and 
intertribal conflict, many people have lost touch with friends 
and families. However, these problems appear to be mostly due 
to inadequate communications rather than to arbitrary or 
deliberate actions by security forces. There have been no 
reports of disappearance as a result of deliberate government 
policy. 

In July in the southern town of Mundri, the SPLA abducted four 
foreigners (three Americans, one British), who were connected 
with missionary organizations. They were released in August, 
unharmed but in poor health. Three Catholic priests similarly 
held in captivity for 3 months were released on October 13. A 
fourth priest remains captive. The SPLA apparently holds 
several government soldiers and pilots as prisoners of war. 



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SUDAN 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

While still officially in effect, "hadd" punishments of the 
Islamic "September laws", including amputations and hanging, 
have not been applied since April 1985 when Nimeiri was 
overthrown. Flogging does occur, but less frequently and less 
severely than prior to the 1986 change of government. 

According to the chairman of the Sudan Human Rights 
Organization, there are over 400 convicted prisoners in Kober 
and Omdurman prisons awaiting confirmation of amputation 
sentences by the high courts. All such sentences are 
currently in abeyance. In a well-publicized case, two 
convicted armed robbers were sentenced to cross amputation 
(hand and foot) in May 1987. Amnesty International sponsored 
a letter-writing campaign appealing to Prime Minister Sadiq, 
asking for clemency. The Prime Minister appointed a commission 
to look into the case. The review had not been completed at 
the end of 1987. 

Outside the combat zones, reports of torture are rare, but 
police treatment of persons under arrest is sometimes brutal. 
Amnesty International has received reports of ill-treatment of 
prisoners, including the use of leg irons on prisoners 
awaiting amputations. In general, prison conditions are poor, 
but local treatment of prisoners varies considerably, from 
shackling prisoners to allowing them to go home at night. 

There have been reports of torture and execution of prisoners 
by military forces on both sides in the southern conflict. 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Sudan's code of criminal procedure, modeled after British law, 
requires a warrant by a magistrate for arrest. Arrests made 
at the scene of a crime must be followed by a statement of 
charges within a specific period of time. The accused must be 
informed of the charges against him and permitted legal 
counsel. Only certain capital offenses do not permit bail. 
However, Sudan's legal system includes measures under the 
state of emergency which gives the Government wide powers of 
arrest and preventive detention, which technically could be 
invoked at any time. 

On September 3, the Government ordered the release of 38 
political detainees. They were members of the former regime 
who had been detained without charge or trial under the 1985 
state of emergency regulations. Among the prominent persons 
released were Rashid el Tahir and Bedr el Din Suleiman, both 
of whom had held senior posts under Nimeiri. 

In southern and western areas, military authorities are 
empowered to detain people without charge if suspected of 
cooperation or sympathy with the rebellion. There are no 
reliable reports of how many persons are so detained. In 
September, however, members of the Sudanese National Party, 
the dominant party in the Nuba Mountains, reportedly were 
arrested following SPLA attacks on government forces in the 
area . 

In April Sudanese police arrested the Chairman and Secretary 
of the Sudan Railway Workers Union in Darfur on unspecified 
grounds. According to a Union memorandum, the two were still 
in detention in late 1987, with no indication when they would 
be brought to trial. 



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SUDAN 

There were no known cases of involuntary exile or forced 
labor. However, slavery arose as a major political issue in 
1987. Observers allege that no Sudanese government has ever 
been strong enough to completely eradicate the centuries-old 
practice of slavery and that traces of it still exist in parts 
of western Sudan. 

Ushari Ahmad Mahmoud and Suleiman Ali Baldo of the University 
of Khartoum maintain that 3,000 Dinka tribespeople are held in 
slavery by the Rizeiqat Arabs. They interviewed escaped 
slaves and witnesses to the enslavement of others. Following 
denials that slavery exists in the Sudan by the Prime Minister 
and the Foreign Ministry, the southern-run English language 
newspapers, Sudan Times and Heritage, began carrying 
interviews with, and pictures of, escaped slaves. The 
National Islamic Front (NIF) party, the largest opposition 
party in the Parliament, also attacked the Government on the 
slavery issue, questioning its denials and calling for 
independent investigations. At his press conference in 
September, the Prime Minister characterized reports of slavery 
as defamatory, politically motivated, and slanderous. 

The Sudan Human Rights Association decided in September to 
investigate charges of slavery, with the assistance of the 
Sudan Bar Association. A law faculty member of the University 
of Khartoum was sent to Al Daein to investigate, but his 
report had not been released as of the end of 1987. 

A Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference document, sent in August 
to the Prime Minister, referred to the existence of a slave 
market in Abyei, Southern Kordofan. 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

In 1986 Parliament abolished the executive power to form 
special State Security Courts, thus ensuring that trials of 
political prisoners would take place henceforth in the regular 
criminal courts. 

The judicial process involves a police or magistrate 
investigation, a field report, an arrest warrant, the arrest, 
and a trial before a panel of three judges. The appointment 
of judges is made by a committee within the judiciary, 
generally considered independent of political forces. Trials 
are public except in rare cases where the accused requests a 
closed trial. Defendants have the right to present evidence, 
speak on their own behalf, and to obtain legal representation. 
There are legal aid services for the poor, but their resources 
are limited. The Attorney General's office tries to apportion 
4egal aid to those facing serious charges and to those most in 
need. A case may be appealed through the full series of courts 
from the magistrate level to the High Court of Appeals. 

In rural areas, it is customary tribal law which is usually 
observed and enforced, even though most cases in the provinces 
are heard by judges from Khartoum who may be generally 
unfamiliar with specific tribal laws. Rural disputes most 
often concern land, water, or women. 

On April 11, the Appeals Court, after reviewing the case of 
ex-Vice President Omar el Tayeb, reduced his life sentence to 
less than 13 years. Tayeb had been convicted for bribery, 
treason, and violations of immigration and civil aviation 
laws. Tayeb is rumored to be in poor health and was 
transferred from a provincial prison to a hospital ward in the 
capital . 



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SUDAN 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Outside the combat zones, there were few complaints of 
governmental interference with the privacy of ordinary 
Sudanese citizens. Displaced Southerners and non-Sudanese 
refugees in the Khartoum area, however, have been rounded up 
and either detained or fined for not having their documents 
with them. 

In March and April 1987, Khartoum authorities carried out a 
campaign known locally as "kasha" or forced expulsion of 
refugees back to camps. Many refugees had their legal 
documents and possessions confiscated or destroyed, and were 
physically abused, sometimes raped, and, in a few cases, 
killed. After a domestic and international outcry, the 
campaign was dropped. The Prime Minister publicly denied that 
"kasha" was practiced. Other members of the Government, 
including the Commissioner of Khartoum, expressed the view 
that refugees were responsible for many of Sudan's economic 
ills. There is also a widely held perception among 
Northerners that the large number of displaced Southerners in 
Khartoum is a potential security threat. Furthermore, 
representatives of pro-Islamic political groups hold the view 
that refugees, most of whom are non-Muslim, dilute the 
"religious purity" of Khartoum and other northern regions. 

According to government critics, a second "kasha" campaign 
started in late 1987, when the Khartoum police randomly began 
to destroy shelters of displaced Southerners in the Khartoum 
area in an effort to force them to leave. While there is no 
known centrally directed policy, the Government has taken no 
preventive actions and, according to critics, tacitly condones 
the practice. 

g. Violations of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts 

The most serious violations of humanitarian law in 1987 
involved charges of massacres and slavery and are directly 
related to the 4-year-old civil war between the Government and 
the SPLA. The SPLA draws much of its support from the Dinka 
tribe, some of whom traditionally inhabit the Bahr el Ghazal 
region. To their north live Arabic-speaking Muslim tribes 
such as the Rizeiqat and Missiriyyah. In 1986 the Government 
began a policy of arming militias from the latter tribes for 
the stated purpose of protecting them against the SPLA. The 
addition of these improved weapons exacerbated age-old tribal 
conflicts over water holes and grazing areas. Critics charge 
that, instead of using their weapons to fight the SPLA, the 
militias have used them to raid Dinka areas, steal cattle and 
other possessions, and take some Dinka children into slavery. 

Government officials, conversely, explain that traditional 
relations between the tribes had been good until SPLA attacks 
on the Muslim tribes north of the traditional dividing line, 
the Bahr el Arab River, began. Such an attack, they say, 
occurred last March near Al Daein in Southern Darfur. In 
response, the Rizeiqat massacred a group of Dinka civilians 
who had been rounded up by the local police and taken to the 
Al Daein train station. 

At the end of 1987, there had been no fully objective and 
impartial investigation of the Al Daein massacre. The 
Governor of Darfur's initial investigation involved three 
senior government officials, two of whom reportedly are from 



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the Rizeiqat tribe. They spent a single day in Al Daein and 
returned, reporting that there had been 228 casualties. In a 
press conference, the Prime Minister, reporting the team's 
conclusions, said that only 182 Dinka had been killed in the 
incident and that the Rizeiqat had not been responsible. In 
their report on the Al Daein massacre. University of Khartoum 
lecturers Ushari Ahmad Mahmoud and Suleyman Ali Baldo maintain 
that more than 1,000 Dinka were killed by Rizeiqat Arabs. 
Because of the controversy over the Al Daein massacre, the 
Prime Minister on September 15 issued a decree setting up a 
national committee to look into the Governor of Darfur's 
report on the Al Daein events. The committee is charged with 
defining the responsibilities of regional officials, assessing 
losses on both sides, and proposing means for preventing a 
recurrence of such incidents. The committee's report has not 
been circulated publicly, and the committee has not made any 
statements . 

Another massacre occurred in Wau, the capital of Bahr el 
Ghazal in September. Wau is inhabited primarily by Dinka and 
Fertit tribesmen, the latter of whom also formed a government- 
armed militia. According to many reports, starting in May 
there were repeated incidents in which the army and the Fertit 
militia killed persons from the Dinka tribe. One incident 
occurred August 11-12, following the firing of a missile by 
SPLA forces at a military aircraft. The army rounded up a 
number of civilians from the town, who, as reported by most 
accounts, were killed by Fertit militiamen. A member of 
Parliament from Bahr el Ghazal, Joseph Modistu, said in 
Parliament that travelers from Wau had told him 2,000 were 
killed by the army. Other sources have put the number between 
100 and 250. 

The second incident in Wau was sparked when, in an argument, a 
government soldier shot an old woman and a Dinka policeman. A 
major battle resulted, with the army and the Fertit militia on 
one side and mostly Dinka police and game wardens on the other. 
Accounts also vary as to the number of persons killed, but 
most claim that over 100 persons died. On September 14, Abdul 
Rahman Ali Taha, the majority party's leader in Parliament, 
agreed to a select parliamentary committee to investigate 
massacre reports from Wau, but the committee had not been set 
up by the end of 1987. 

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

The print media are free and freewheeling. Each political 
party has its own newspaper. In addition, other newspapers 
present a full range of opinions from the Islamic right to the 
Communist left. There are three English-language newspapers, 
including one daily, which tend to be pro-south and 
antigovernment . These newspapers reported extensively on 
human rights abuses in Sudan including the massacres in the 
south . 

There are signs, however, that the Government is considering 
placing limits on press freedom. Since the election campaign 
of 1986, which was characterized by widespread and unrestrained 
freedom of expression by Sudan's numerous political parties 
and newspapers, the Government has expressed concern with 
abuses of freedom of speech and press. The Prime Minister and 
other government officials made a number of statements in 1987 
critical of the press for allegedly publishing inciteful 



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material, rumors, lies, and comments on sensitive national 
security matters. The Prime Minister told Parliament in June 
that he would introduce tough press controls. After his 
authority to ban newspapers was removed in October, he 
submitted new press legislation to the Assembly, but the terms 
of the new proposal had not been made public at the end of the 
year . 

Radio and television are state owned and operated in Sudan, 
and tend to support government policies. 

In October Ushari Ahmed Mahmoud, co7author of the report on 
the Al Daein massacre and the slavery issue, was arrested for 
calling the Prime Minister a liar, after the Prime Minister 
had strongly castigated Ushari "s report on slavery. Ushari 
was rearrested on December 26 under Sudan's sedition law for 
allegedly writing a leaflet denouncing the Government and 
supporting the SPLA. He was released on bail December 30 and 
awaits trial. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

The Government limits assembly and association on security 
grounds. Khartoum and other provincial cities were the scenes 
of numerous public demonstrations in 1987, often by students 
in protest against economic-related conditions. There have 
been, however, occasions when violence erupted and security 
forces fired on demonstrators and property was destroyed. 
This happened in September during demonstrations in Blue Nile 
Province and in Northern Kordofan Province and again in 
October, during demonstrations in Khartoum against a 
government agreement with the IMF. 

In 1987 police and military reinforcements, reacting to 
student demonstrations protesting lack of school supplies and 
teachers, sometimes opened fire. Fourteen students were 
killed in one demonstration at a secondary school in Northern 
Kordofan. 

The Government cracked down on student unrest at the University 
of Juba, the only national university in the south, following 
student protests against the chancellor's appropriation of 
student facilities for other purposes. Protesters were 
arrested, released by a judge, then rearrested by order of the 
governor. The incident escalated, leading to the closing of 
the university for a year. The Southern Sudan Political 
Association, one of the southern political parties, protested 
and called for the Vice Chancellor's removal. The Prime 
Minister spoke in support of the Vice Chancellor and the 
closure of the university, claiming it was affected by the 
violence characteristic of life in the south. 

Averring opposition to demonstrations that transfer the 
decisionmaking power from the Constituent Assembly to the 
street, the Government prohibited public marches on October 
18. It also cited the civil war, an increase in violent 
crime, and the large number of refugees in the country as 
reasons for the prohibition. The order, which will remain in 
effect until the civil war is ended, exempted two categories 
of marches: those expressing the will of the whole nation and 
those of a ceremonial nature. 

The Sudanese labor movement played an active role in the 
overthrow of Nimeiri in 1985 and the formation of the 
Transitional Military Government leading to restoration of ■ 



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democracy in 1986. The 1985 transitional Constitution, 
amended in March 1987, provides for the right of workers to 
organize and bargain collectively. The primary labor 
organizations are the Sudanese Workers Trade Union Federation 
(SWTUF) and the Sudanese Employees and Clerks Federation 
(SFETU) . The SWTUF represents blue-collar workers and has 
been a stable organization since 1985. Its white-collar 
counterpart, the SFETU, however, is undergoing major changes. 
In December 1987, the Government passed an ordinance which 
split the SFETU into three separate federations: employees, 
professionals, and teachers. There is also a trade union 
alliance, which is an informal lobbying group comprised mostly 
of white-collar workers and professionals. 

Strikes are legal, except in the judiciary, armed forces, and 
police. The law stipulates, however, that the process of 
negotiations and arbitration must run its course before a 
union may strike. Strikes in September 1987 by such unions as 
the farm workers and veterinarians were considered "illegal" 
by the Government because the unions had not first submitted 
their grievances to arbitration. 

c. Freedom of Religion 

Sudan is a multireligious country. Both Islam and 
Christianity are formally recognized as religions of Sudan, 
but adherents to other religious beliefs are not legally 
restricted. The people of five northern provinces and the 
capital are predominantly Muslim, while those from the three 
southern provinces are animist and Christian. Religious 
differences have been a source of friction among the various 
groups, and the civil war has strong religious overtones. 

The Government is concerned that the war not be seen by the 
outside world solely as a Muslim-Christian conflict and often 
describes it as Ethiopian-sponsored Communist aggression. The 
Government sometimes portrays it differently to Sudanese, 
however. In one document, the Government described five 
northern regions as "Dar el Islam," or the land of Islam, and 
the southern regions "Dar el Harb," which means both war zone 
and enemy territory and, in Islamic law, non-Muslim country. 
Government officials have also made statements accusing some 
Christian churches and church personnel of cooperation with 
the rebels. 

The Christian Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) is involved in 
efforts to end the war and backed a trip in September by 
representatives of southern political parties to Addis Ababa, 
Kampala, and Nairobi, to meet with leaders of the SPLA to 
discuss peace. The prosouthern press reported that the 
Government was angry at the SCC for supporting the trip and 
thus indirectly the SPLA. 

In August the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference submitted to 
the Prime Minister a long list of discriminatory actions 
against Christians which the Conference believed were threats 
to peace. These included: the continuance of Islamic laws; 
the refusal by various government bodies in several parts of 
the country to allow Christian organizations to use, 
construct, improve, or buy land for buildings for religious 
purposes; the harassment of southerners, especially the Dinka; 
and the looting and burning of the Catholic church of Al Daein 
and the killing of the priest's assistant in March 1987. 



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SUDAN 

In August there were reports that militiamen from Arab tribes 
in Southern Kordofan, belonging to a group known as the 
General Union of the Arabs, burned down a number of churches 
in El Karkariya and El Katmur, and killed Pastor Mathew el Nur 
and family after setting his house ablaze. 

With the exception of the Communist Party, political parties 
in Sudan tend to be based on either a religious sect or tribal 
group. Non-Muslims sometimes reach high- levels in the military 
and the civil service. There are 3 Christians in the 20-member 
Cabinet, and 1 on the 5-man Council of State. The current 
coalition partners of the Government, the Umma Party and the 
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) , are based in the Ansar and 
Khatmiyya Islamic orders, respectively. The opposition 
National Islamic Front (NIF) is composed of fundamentalist 
Muslims. The transitional Constitution now in effect retains 
Islamic law and custom as the main sources of legislation, and 
most Southerners oppose it as inherently discriminatory 
against them. A perennial major issue of debate in the 
Constituent Assembly remains proposed amendments to the 
Constitution which redefine but retain Islamic law as its 
basis. The NIF advocates retaining strict Islamic law, while 
the Umma and DUP may accept some recognition of Christianity 
and other religions as sources of legislation in addition to 
Islam. Southern deputies and the SPLA advocate return to a 
secular constitution. 

Christian law graduates are required to take a proficiency 
examination in Islamic Shari'a law in order to practice law in 
Sudan. 

d. Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation 

Freedom of movement within the country is impeded by the civil 
war and the inadequate transportation infrastructure, as well 
as by government restrictions. Sudan continues to require 
exit visas for anyone leaviRg the country, a requirement that 
can be used to restrict individuals from foreign travel. 
Unmarried women cannot travel alone but must be accompanied by 
a family member or other sponsor. 

Foreigners must register with the police upon entering the 
country, obtain permission to move from one location to 
another, and register again upon arriving at the new location. 

Sudan's foreign refugee population, which consists largely of 
Ethiopians, Ugandans, and Chadians, is estimated to fluctuate 
between 800,000 and 1 million. The Government seeks to settle 
refugees in the countryside, where they can receive assistance 
from foreign private and multilateral relief agencies. 
However, large numbers also come to the cities, especially the 
capital area, in search of jobs, shelter, and food. 

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens 
to Change Their Government 

In Sudan's multiparty parliamentary system, the principal 
institutions are the 301-member Constituent Assembly, the 
20-person Council of Ministers, and the 5-member Council of 
State. Government is based on a transitional Constitution. 
The current Assembly was elected in 1986 to a 4-year term in a 
free and fair election. Since then, a coalition government, 
consisting of the two largest parties in the Constituent 
Assembly, the Umma and the Democratic Unionist (DUP) Parties, 



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has ruled the country. There are two women in the Assembly 
and one in the Cabinet. Women and men have equal voting 
rights . 

The goal of holding a national conference to draw up a new 
constitution remains unmet, and a special ministry, created in 
1986 to oversee its convening, remains without a minister. 
Many Sudanese consider that convening of this conference is 
necessary to bring an end to the civil war. 

Regional government for many parts of Sudan is ineffective. 
In some areas, most notably in the south and far west, basic 
responsibilities, such as providing security, are beyond the 
reach of local officials. The Government is considering 
restoration of tribal administration in the provinces, a 
practice begun by the British but discontinued under President 
Nimeiri. While criticized by secular intellectuals and 
nationalists during and after the colonial period, the system 
of tribal administration is seen in retrospect to have been an 
effective way to keep the peace. 

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 

Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
of Human Rights 

The Government is sensitive to criticism of its human rights 
performance at home or from abroad, most recently on the issue 
of slavery. As noted, the Government sharply criticized Dr. 
Ushari Ahmad Mahmoud, the author of the report on the Al Daein 
massacre and slavery, and detained him briefly in October 
without charge. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a public statement 
September 1, denied slavery was practiced in Sudan and 
threatened to take action against "the enemies who are 
attempting to smear the good name of the country abroad." 
Some government officials apparently believed that personnel 
of Western relief agencies were the sources for reports of 
human rights events from rural areas. The Government's action 
(currently in abeyance) in September 1987 to expel three 
relief agencies from Sudan may be related to this issue. 

With government permission, Amnesty International has formed 
local chapters in the cities of Wad Medani and Khartoum. 

Section 5 Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
Language, or Social Status 

Sudan's population of 21.1 million (1984) is composed 
primarily of two distinct cultures--Arab and black African. 
Sudanese, especially those on the periphery, resent the 
Government's emphasis on central and northern Sudan, where the 
population is most fully arabized. Historically, all of 
Sudan's governments have featured political and economic 
domination by northern Muslims (approximately 13 million). 
Non-Arab and non-Muslim groups in the ethnically diverse south 
and among the Nuba of the Kordofan Mountains, and partially 
arabized Muslim groups, such as the Fur in the west and the 
Beja in the east, have begun mobilizing to demand a greater 
share of the nation's economic development and political power. 

Southerners coming north looking for work or to escape the war 
face social discrimination by the Muslim Arab majority. Rents 
may be artificially raised to keep southerners or refugees 
from residing in certain areas. Southern students, unable to 



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attend schools in the war zones, have had difficulty finding 
places in the northern schools. In 1987 many displaced 
Southerners were subjected to police harassment or imprisonment 
for failure to have the proper identity documents, and some 
were caught up in the "kasha" campaign. 

Men and women retain traditionally segregated roles, and 
Sudanese laws favor men. For example, under the Islamic law 
of inheritance, women receive only half as much property as 
men. The incidence of female circumcision, although illegal, 
remains high and is ingrained in the culture of many groups. 
Owing to tradition and social circumstances, women receive 
less education than men, although legally they are entitled to 
equal opportunities. They also have fewer employment 
opportunities, but some women play an active role in 
government, the professions, the media, and higher education. 

CONDITIONS OF LABOR 

Sudanese labor laws and practices, by and large, embrace 
international standards. The workweek is limited to 6 days 
and 48 hours, with a 1-day rest period on Friday. Laborers 
are given an extra month's pay for each year's labor. Most 
workers receive allowances for transportation and soma for 
housing. However, with the recent devaluation of the Sudanese 
pound, many unions are seeking better employment terms. 
Presently, the prescribed monthly minimum wage is approximately 
$30 for blue-collar workers, and $96 for white-collar 
employees. Annual raises must be at least 5 percent of the 
annual salary. Salaries in private industry are generally 
higher than those in the public sector. The minimum age for 
workersisie. 

Sudanese laws prescribe health and safety standards but, in 
general, factory conditions are poor. Enforcement of 
environmental standards is minimal. Unemployment and 
underemployment are major problems in Sudan, particularly 
among youth. Graduates, even of such prestigious schools as 
Khartoum University, face severe difficulties in finding any 
type of employment after completing their education. 



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SWAZILAND 



Swaziland is populated almost entirely by ethnic Swazis and 
governed as a modified traditional monarchy. All executive, 
legislative, and judicial powers are vested in the King, who 
is advised by the Queen Mother, both of them traditional 
figures, and the Ministers of the Cabinet. The King rules 
according to traditional Swazi law and custom, never codified 
but ultimately determined by the King and his advisors. Great 
emphasis is placed on obtaining consensus as the basis for 
executive decision. Swaziland's Government features both 
"modern" and "traditional" branches--a cabinet, parliament, 
and courts which follow Western law, and a tribal hierarchy 
with "national" courts which follow traditional Swazi law and 
custom. The modern Cabinet is appointed by the King from 
among Members of Parliament and is responsible to him. 
Political parties are outlawed, and an organized political 
opposition to the Government in the sense of a multiparty 
system does not exist. Parliament, which has limited 
authority, consists of the House of Assembly and the Senate. 
There is no constitution in effect. Swaziland's 1965 
Constitution, which contained a bill of rights at independence, 
was repealed by King Sobhuza II in 1973 on the grounds that it 
introduced political practices which were incompatible with 
the Swazi tradition of decisionmaking by consensus. 

National defense is provided by the Umbufto Swaziland Defense 
Force, consisting of fewer than 3,000 troops. The Royal Swazi 
Police are the primary internal security force. These forces 
are not able to cope with the spillover from the southern 
African regional conflicts. Both African National Congress 
(ANC) militants and South African security forces created 
difficulties in 1987, the former attempting to use Swaziland 
as a base, the latter entering Swaziland to attack the ANC. 

Swaziland has an open, free economy with large export firms 
that are frequently foreign owned. The Government continues 
to promote private sector development and free enterprise. 
Eighty percent of the population is engaged in subsistence 
farming . 

There are significant restrictions on the exercise of human 
rights in Swaziland, including on freedom of speech and 
assembly and political rights. The Government is sensitive to 
negative or potentially insulting remarks about the King and 
Swazi traditions. In 1987 the Government responded to the 
publication of an article critical of the Incwala, a 
traditional royal ceremony, by arresting four persons involved 
in writing, translating, printing, and distributing the 
article and charged them with sedition. They were tried 
before the High Court in late September but had not been 
sentenced by the end of 1987. Following the death of King 
Sobhuza II in 1982, a schism developed within the Swazi royal 
family revolving around the replacement of the former King's 
designated Queen Regent and Prime Minister in August 1983. 
This dispute came to a head in 1987 when 12 influential 
decisionmakers thought to be connected with the events of 1983 
were detained. 



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SWAZILAND 

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Section 1 Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
Freedom from: 

a. Political Killing 

There were no reports or allegations in 1987 of political 
killings by agents of the Government. However, several 
incidents involving ANC targets occurred during the year which 
were reminiscent of those committed by South African forces in 
1986. On May 22, three people, including one ANC member, were 
killed when their car was attacked. On July 9, two persons, 
later confirmed to be ANC members by the National Executive 
Committee of the ANC, were killed by unidentified gunmen 
shortly after arriving in Swaziland. 

During the year, incidents of violence and major robberies 
increased, some involving fatal shootings which have been 
blamed on Mozambicans illegally in Swaziland. In response to 
these incidents, the Swazi Prime Minister issued a statement 
in July calling on neighboring states to respect Swaziland's 
independence and territorial integrity. Illegal entry and 
violence perpetrated across Swazi borders are beyond the 
ability of Swaziland's small security forces to control. 

b. Disappearance 

There was one report of a disappearance in 1987. According to 
local press reports and ANC statements, an ANC member was 
kidnaped from her home outside Mbabane on May 23 and taken to 
South Africa by South African police agents. The Swazi police 
report no record of this incident. South African authorities 
confirmed in 1987 that an ANC member abducted in 1986 from 
Swaziland is in prison in South Africa facing charges of 
treason and terrorism. The South African Government denies, 
however, that the South African police were involved in the 
abduction as alleged. 

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
Treatment or Punishment 

Torture, as a rule, is not practiced in Swaziland. However, 
there were some reports of police threats and beatings in the 
handling of common criminals and suspects. In one case, a 
high court judge, after acquitting two wardens of having 
beaten to death an inmate at the Matsapha central prison, 
noted that, although the crown prosecutor had failed to 
provide adequate evidence to prove guilt, evidence suggested 
that the prisoner was murdered in prison. Defendants often 
charge that confessions have been extorted by the police, 
especially in trials dealing with ritual murder. These 
charges by the defense are sometimes found to be substantiated 
by the judges. Caning is occasionally administered to youths 
involved in either petty or violent crimes. Prisons are often 
unsanitary and have low nutritional standards for the 
prisoners, a condition which probably reflects the country's 
economic limitations rather than any intent to inflict 
punishment. Prisoners are allowed visits from family members, 
and the main prison includes facilities for teaching manual 
trades . 



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SWAZILAND 

d. Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, Exile, or Forced Labor 

Swazi law requires warrants for arrests in all but certain 
exceptional circumstances. These exceptions, however, are 
poorly defined, and in practice police who have strong 
suspicions about a suspect do not normally seek a warrant. 
The police are allowed to hold a person for a "reasonable 
time" without charge. In some cases, this has led to persons 
being detained without charge for considerable periods. Such 
detainees are allowed to consult with a lawyer of their own 
choosing, though some attorneys have had difficulty gaining 
access. Provision for bail exists. 

A 1978 detention law permits the Government to detain any 
person without charge for a renewable period of 60 days. This 
law, not utilized since 1985, was invoked several times in 
1987. In May the Swazi police arrested 12 leading figures in 
Swazi society on the basis of a 60-day detention order signed 
by the Prime Minister. The Swazi Cabinet, shortly after the 
arrests, announced that the 12 were suspected of involvement 
in the 1983 replacement of the late King's designated Queen 
Regent. Detention orders for 11 of the 12 were subsequently 
extended for additional 60-day periods. The 11 detainees were 
charged with high treason before a special tribunal on November 
20, 1987. The twelfth original detainee was sentenced in July 
for illegal possession of mandrax and is not charged with 
treason. One detainee was released in July due to poor health 
on the condition that he would stand trial together with other 
detainees when charges are filed. These detainees reportedly 
have been carefully attended to while in prison. 

On May 19, the leader of a local religious organization, the 
Rhema Church, was arrested for having written an article in a 
monthly church publication deemed to be insulting to the King. 
He was charged with sedition under the 1938 Sedition and 
Subversive Activities Act, as amended in 1983, and granted 
bail by the High Court on May 22. On May 25, he was again 
arrested, this time under a 60-day detention order which was 
extended for an additional 60 days in August. No additional 
charges were filed after the issuance of the detention order. 
The bail posted to gain release on May 22 has not been 
returned. In June and July, three additional persons involved 
in the translation, printing, and distribution of the Rhema 
Church article were arrested and expeditiously charged with 
sedition and granted bail. None has been rearrested. In 
October the High Court of Swaziland convicted three of the 
four persons charged with sedition in connection with the 
Rhema Church publication. In passing judgment, the Court 
ruled that persons may be deemed to have committed a seditious 
act, although such may not have been their intention, if the 
objective effect of their action is to induce hatred of or 
contempt for the King, his heirs, or the Government of 
Swaziland. This interpretation makes it easier to obtain 
convictions and increases the effective scope of the Act. 

Detention under the 1978 detention law is not subject to 
appeal to the courts, though it may be appealed directly to 
the Monarch. In some instances, detainees have been held 
incommunicado under this law. 

Forced labor does not exist in Swaziland. 



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SWAZILAND 

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial 

The right to a fair public trial is provided for by law and is 
honored in practice, although the court president can order a 
trial to be held in camera in certain cases (e.g., rape). The 
Prime Minister can also require that a trial be held in 
private, but this is rare and has not been done for several 
years. Those accused are presumed innocent until proven 
guilty. 

In sedition cases, the Prime Minister, if he is of the opinion 
that the security of Swaziland may be involved, may order that 
proceedings be held in camera before a special tribunal 
appointed by the King. The special tribunal may, if it deems 
appropriate, adopt rules and procedures apart from those 
applied in the High Court. This special tribunal has never 
been convoked. However, in November the King further expanded 
the power of the Government by convoking a second special 
tribunal to judge the 11 persons charged with treason (l.d. 
above) . The judgments of the special tribunals are not 
subject to appeal, and the persons tried are not entitled to 
legal representation but must conduct their own defense. 
Penalties provide for imprisonment for a period not to exceed 
20 years, a fine not exceeding 20,000 emalangeni 
(approximately $10,000), or "any penalty recognisable under 
Swazi law and custom." 

The modern judiciary consists of a Court of Appeals, a High 
Court, and various subordinate magistrates' courts which are 
independent of executive and military control and free from 
intimidation from outside forces. Many members of the 
judiciary are appointed from the bars of other countries with 
compatible legal systems. The current Chief Justice, for 
example, is an Englishman. In magistrates' courts, the 
defendant is entitled to counsel at his or her own expense. 
Court-appointed counsel is provided in capital cases or where 
difficult points of law are at issue. There are well defined 
appeal procedures up to the Court of Appeals, the highest 
judicial body. 

In traditional courts, where ethnic Swazis may be brought for 
offenses and violations of Swazi traditional laws or customs, 
legal counsel is not allowed, but defendants may speak on 
their own behalf. Swazi traditional law has not been codified. 
Findings are subject to a review system and appeal to the High 
Court and the Court of Appeals. Accused persons who desire 
counsel can insist that their cases be transferred from the 
traditional courts. 

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 

Swazi custom places a high value on home and family. In 
general, Swazi law requires a warrant issued by a magistrate 
before police may search homes or other premises. However, 
senior police officers are permitted to search for evidence 
without a warrant if the suspected crime is of a serious 
nature. This exception is frequently used. While there is no 
evidence that the Government actively monitors private 
correspondence or conversation, the Swazi police have been 
known to apprehend and interrogate persons who reportedly had 
made objectionable statements about the King during the course 
of private conversation and in telegrams. 



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SWAZILAND 
Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 

a. Freedom of Speech and Press 

Freedom of speech is limited. The previous Prime Minister 
stated that Swazis critical of the Government should express 
their views only to their chiefs for discussion in traditional 
Swazi councils. Academic freedom does not extend to permitting 
direct attacks on government figures or policy. Antigovernment 
demonstrations or leaflets are regarded as seditious. Swazi 
radio and television stations are government controlled, and 
there is also a semiofficial newspaper. Private companies and 
church groups publish several newspapers and magazines. 

The media, both government controlled and private, practice 
self -censorship, refraining from critical comment on sensitive 
government activities or on controversial issues involving the 
royal family. The arrest of four persons in connection with 
an article published by the Rhema Church highlights the 
resolve of the Government to control written commentary on 
issues directly affecting the Monarchy. The Government has 
occasionally proscribed publications, including foreign 
publications, deemed to be prejudicial to the interests of 
defense, public safety, or public health. Two major South 
African publications, banned in 1985 because of critical 
articles on Swazi domestic politics, remain excluded. No new 
bannings occurred in 1987. 

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 

King Sobhuza ' s proclamation of April 12, 1973, reaffirmed by 
King Mswati's proclamation amendment decree of 1987, prohibits 
meetings of a political nature and processions or 
demonstrations in any public place without the consent, 
sometimes withheld, of the Commissioner of Police. In 
practice, however, no permit is required for most gatherings. 
Except for the prohibition of certain antigovernment activity, 
freedom of association is generally permitted. Trade 
associations and professional bodies exist in Swaziland and 
maintain relations with recognized international bodies in 
their fields. 

The Industrial Relations Act (IDA) of 1980 reaffirms the right 
of trade unions to exist, organize, and associate freely. It 
also provides for an Industrial Court for